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Hope is Here

Baton Rouge Children’s Advocacy Center

Our Mission

To help children and their families on their path of healing by providing trauma-informed, child-focused services in the aftermath of physical abuse, sexual abuse or a violent crime.

Our Vision

to work collaboratively with our multi-disciplinary team and community to ensure accessible, trauma-informed care services in the pursuit of safety, healing, and justice for all children and their families.

Our History

The Baton Rouge CAC opened its doors in 2002 after years of planning and collaboration by a group of concerned citizens representing many different disciplines.  From there, and through widespread community support, the CAC expanded to serve four parishes: East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge, Pointe Coupee, and Iberville Parishes.  The CAC’s location, often referred to visiting children as “The Yellow House,”  has expanded and our program achieved accreditation by the National Children’s Alliance in 2014.

As the sole agency providing immediate interventions for children exposed to traumatic events in the Capital Region, BRCAC serves the community’s most vulnerable children. The Center, a restored Victorian home, serves as a safe, home-like atmosphere for traumatized children and their families to visit for all their recovery needs in the aftermath of traumatic events. And at the same time, the BRCAC serves as the location for professionals in the fields of law enforcement, child protective services, physical and mental health, education, prosecution and criminal justice to connect with children and their families.  They may connect at the Center whether it’s for the purpose of fact-finding, coordinating the prosecution of crimes or to link families with additional services.  We have positioned ourselves as a community leader when it comes to responding to youth impacted by trauma including active crises situations when youthful citizens are involved.

Our Purpose

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Community Education

BRCAC also provides community education and primary prevention by appearing in schools and other venues serving children, as well as engaging in the training of caregivers of children in understanding the dynamics of child trauma and supporting them in its aftermath. More recently we have expanded our capacity to provide community education to youth-serving providers in the fields of law enforcement, education, after-school programming, medical and mental health. The focus of this education is on the long-term impacts of childhood adversity (i.e. via the sciences of the ACES study) and trauma and how whole systems can become more trauma-informed in responding to youth and vulnerable populations who are at risk.

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Healing and Justice

The demand for this service increased drastically in 2016 when Baton Rouge faced historical and unprecedented community-wide trauma due to police-involved shootings and a natural flood disaster. The mantra of our trainings regardless of audience was that “trauma creates a ripple effect in communities. Whether it is historical or racial trauma or precipitated by sudden incidents of violent crime, what affects one affects us all. The solutions must be group and population or systemic-focused.

Our Facilities

Children who visit the CAC have endearingly referred to the restored Victorian Home and Center as “The Yellow House” which they describe as a place they want to return in spite of the reality of the situation bringing them there. We consider it a privilege and honor for kids to think of it as a second home and we invite you to take a closer look and see why it is a sacred space for our families.

Child Therapy Room

This room is intentionally designed to appeal to younger children and provide space for individuals and groups. There are many different media utilized here, including play, puppetry, imaginary and dress-up play, sand tray therapy, art, music and movement along with traditional talk therapies. This is because we see each child as unique and needing his/her own window or entry into his/ her world.

Adolescent Therapy Room

This room is tailored to older youth and teens. There is enough space to hold groups or family sessions and provides different activities which are appealing to teens. Groups for human trafficked and homeless teens are also accommodated here.

Child Oriented Forensic Interview Room

In this space, which is colorful yet intentionally not over stimulating, children work with a specially trained child forensic interviewer to give details about a violent crime they have endured.

Teen Oriented Forensic Interview Room

In this space, intentionally equipped with camera and acoustic enhancements along with a calm, soothing decor, teens are interviewed by a specially trained forensic interviewer about a violent crime they have endured.

Waiting Area

The waiting area, which resembles a family living room, is a place where families rest while the forensic investigation is occurring or while children are attending routine therapy appointments. There is television, a separated reading/cell phone nook for teens and wifi access.

Porches

What would a Southern CAC be without a porch? These spaces provide a separate place for families to rest and regroup as well as for children to play during their visit at the CAC. It may also serve as an outdoor meeting space on nice weather days.

Outside Play Area

Thanks to volunteers from around the community, children have a secure area for outdoor play and another option where they may meet with their therapist.

Parking (additional parking across the street)

There is limited but available parking in the lot behind the house and on the street. Thanks to St. Agnes Church, across the street, there is parking available for families and partners for overflow.

Lobby/Entryway

Our lobby and entryway welcomes families with snacks and drinks along with pamphlets and resources available to them. There are often giveaways for kids provided by local donors.