Children’s Advocacy Center of Laredo

Children's Advocacy Center of Laredo

Mission Statement: To break the cycle of child abuse through community education, training and prevention and to allow the child opportunities for healing through intervention in a child sensitive environment.

The Children’s Advocacy Center of Laredo-Webb County is a non-profit organization that provides a wealth of critical services, such as community education, prevention and intervention programs, as well as treatment services to fight and eradicate child abuse and neglect. It is the only organization that provides these unique services in our community.

What Our CAC Does:

  • Create a safe place for a child to disclose abuse
  • Coordinate w/partner agencies so the child does not have to repeat or relive the trauma
  • Provide individual, family & group counseling sessions to the child victims & their non-offending family members who have suffered as a result of sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect and/or domestic violence.
  • Conduct forensic videotaped interviews only once to obtain the details of the alleged abuse
  • Review cases for potential prosecution of the alleged perpetrators, resulting in justice meted out when merited
  • Facilitate the completion of client victim compensation applications & referrals for other needed services
  • Provide community presentations and trainings on topics focused on child abuse & neglect.

It is in the provision of counseling therapy for our child victims and their non-offending families that the Lamar Bruni Vergara Trust has proven to be our most devoted and faithful friend, enabling us years ago to grow our capacity to provide therapy to our children, via funding that enabled us to add a second therapist to our CAC team.

The grand majority of our child victims are under the ages of twelve and the abuse that they suffer, year after year, sexual abuse always at the hands of someone that they knew and trusted. By the time they are discovered and come to our CAC, they come in great need of counseling and it is here that the LBV Trust has proven to be our strongest ally. Our CAC utilizes the Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) model, proven to be one of the most effective in treating children who have suffered traumatic injury, sexual abuse standing out as one of the most damaging. And the results gleaned from studies based on the TF-CBT continue to be outstandingly positive:

  • 95% of caregivers felt that the CAC facilitated healing for their child and themselves
  • Post-traumatic stress for these children fell from 88% to 38%
  • Depression fell from 75% to 25%
  • Parent-Child Interaction Therapy which builds parental skills and increases positive interactions between the primary caregiver and the child reduced reoccurrence of abuse from 49% to 19%

Every service that our CAC provides our child victims, over 9500 of them served since 1997, is critical to their recovery, but trauma-focused counseling is perhaps the most essential, enabling them to confront their injury and grief and conquer it, moving on to healthy and productive lives. A graphic example of the benefits gleaned from the support of the LBV Trust is evident in the actual services provided to our children in FY 2014-2015:

  • Five hundred and thirty six (536) children & non-offending family members counseled.
  • Two thousand nine hundred & twenty eight (2928) actual counseling hours offered.

The Lamar Bruni Vergara Trust was the first donor to fund this essential CAC program and it continues to maintain that lead as the community friend that enables us to both sustain and grow this life-changing CAC service.