Caring for Abused and Neglected Children

Children’s Advocacy Centers™ of Texas, Inc. (CACTX) operates 68 children’s advocacy centers (CACs) in Texas. As part of their mission to bring comfort and safety into the lives of abused children, CACTX provides training, program assistance, funding and legislative advocacy to support the CACs in local communities. Each year, its membership serves 40,000 children who are alleged victims of sexual and physical abuse, neglect and domestic violence. Its centers partner with Child Protective Services, law enforcement agencies, district and county attorneys’ offices as well as medical and mental health providers. Together, they help with the investigation and prosecution of child abuse cases. They also provide critical recovery services for abused and neglected children.

The children CACTX serves often suffer from both emotional and physical signs of stress. If unaddressed, these can lead to long-term problems including substance abuse, psychiatric disorders and health problems (see the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study). Did you know that the lifetime impact on economic and social care that goes into providing for abused children in Texas can cost more than $205 billion dollars (see The Perryman Group Child Abuse Study)? A worthy investment, since access to appropriate mental health care has had a major impact in helping kids deal with their trauma and develop long-term coping skills. CACs provide and facilitate these services for abused children and their non-offending caregivers. They also support the cost of these services for the vast majority of families they serve.

Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Healthy Kids, Healthy Families® (HKHF) program has played a critical role in CACTX’s ability to expand and enhance its mental health programs. The support of HKHF has enabled the organization to implement formal training programs in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and Parent-Child Interaction Therapy. Both of these therapies are considered gold standard treatments for traumatized children. Since their expansion, CACs have reported extremely positive and encouraging feedback about their success.

To date, CACTX has provided TF-CBT training to over 170 clinicians, many of whom have gone on to obtain their nationally-recognized TF-CBT certifications. Due in large part to the support of HKHF, Texas has the highest number of TF-CBT certified clinicians in the nation- 73% of whom were trained through CACTX’s program. Through its support, the HKHF and CACTX continue to build a quality system of care for one of the state’s most vulnerable groups of people.

  • Did you know that all of the economic and social care that goes into providing for an abused child in Texas can cost more than $205 billion dollars over their lifetime (see The Perryman Group Child Abuse Study)

    This comment from the above article makes no sense. One abused child costs $205 billion dollars over their lifetime? One child?