The Will County Children’s Advocacy Center has been selected to receive three grants for programs to help children who have endured sexual abuse, severe physical abuse, sexual exploitation, child pornography, neglect, and exposure to violence.
The largest grant, totaling $504,000, is a Victim of Crime Assistance Continuation Grant administered through the Children’s Advocacy Center of Illinois to provide critical forensic interviews, victim advocacy, and trauma-focused therapy services to child victims of abuse, and their non-offending caregivers. The additional two grants, awarded by the National Children’s Alliance through a cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Justice, will provide $75,000 to expand resources for the victims of child pornography and child sex exploitation, and $25,000 to expand mental health services.
This is the fourth consecutive year that the Children’s Advocacy Center has received the National Children’s Alliance grant to address child sexual exploitation and pornography. The grant also will help expand law enforcement’s accessibility to the Children’s Advocacy Center and its services, develop a public service campaign to raise awareness about child sexual exploitation, and fund a specially trained child sexual exploitation and advocacy coordinator to handle these types of cases.
Finally, the $25,000 mental health services grant will help expand the CAC’s trauma-focused mental health services to the eastern areas of Will County. This will help eliminate distance, wait time and financial barriers for families who receive mental health services.