October 2021 Newsletter


A Voice for Healing

Our recent awareness campaign reached more than 10,000 people. We wanted to let people know about child abuse, about how common it was and the help available through child advocacy centers (CACs). With 41 CACs around the state, nearly every child who needs a safe place to provide a statement about what happened to them has access to one. The goal of the CAC is to support the process of justice and healing for the child. We are thrilled so many people are learning about CACs.

11th Annual Child Advocacy Conference

We were so pleased to host the 11th Annual Child Advocacy Conference in person this year. Each year, the conference draws hundreds of professionals from around the state who work with children and families during and after the investigation. These attendees include forensic interviewers, prosecutors, law enforcement, medical providers, victim advocates, and mental health professionals. The goal of this conference is to promote professional excellence by providing training on a range of topics related to the prevention, investigation, and intervention of child abuse.

We are already planning for next year! If you’d like to support this conference and make these training opportunities accessible to child care professionals across the state, please inquire about our sponsorship opportunities by emailing admin@cacmi.org.

Congratulations to the 2021 Champion of Children Award Recipients!

Leslie O’Reilly

Leslie O’Reilly, the VOCA Program Specialist from the Michigan Division of Victim Services, was recognized with our Champion of Advocacy Award. Leslie has worked hard to ensure that funding for services is available for child victims of abuse. Because of her efforts, nearly every child living in Michigan has access to a CAC.

Senator Jim Stamas

Senator Jim Stamas represents Michigan’s 36th senate district and is a recipient of the Legislative Leadership Award. Senator Stamas has introduced and supported several pieces of legislation that have improved the community response to child abuse. He has also advocated for increased funding for services to child victims at CACs. We are grateful for Senator Stamas’ continued support for CACs and the children and families they serve.

Detective Annie Harrison

Detective Annie Harrison is this year’s recipient of the Champion of Justice Award. Annie is a tireless advocate for the children whose case she is investigating. She has also been an incredible partner for agencies working with the Small Talk CAC in Lansing.

Senator Curtis Hertel Jr.

Senator Curtis Hertel Jr. represents Michigan’s 23rd senate district and is a recipient of the Legislative Leadership award. Senator Hertel advocated for a Children’s Advocacy Center Awareness Week, which helped to raise awareness about the prevalence of child abuse and help available to child victims through CACs. He has also advocated for legislation and funding that improved services for child victims. Senator Hertel has been a tremendous ally to CACs and the children and families they serve.

Child Advocacy Coffee Collection

We’re excited to share the launch of our first shop-able collection. In collaboration with Schuil Coffee, a renowned West Michigan coffee company, and its Sparrows/Joven brand, we created products that will help to support our advocacy efforts.

These products symbolize the potential children have when they can simply be a kid.

Designed with the artwork and words of two Michigan children, each mug features a rainbow heart and the quote: “Brighter days are coming, just you wait!”

“Joven” translates to “young” in Spanish. Selected by the world’s youngest Q grader, Frankie Volkema, the Columbian Cauca tastes of citrus, chocolate, and floral notes.

Michigan Bill 451

Did you know that child survivors of abuse are often asked to not only testify at trial but also preliminary proceedings? Not only can this further traumatize the child, but it also isn’t necessary for a child who has worked with a child advocacy center because the child will have already provided their statement on video at the CAC.

In May, Senators Stamas, Schmidt, Horn, Lasata, and Johnson introduced a bill that would allow a victim’s video-recorded statements taken at the CAC during the forensic interview to be permissible in court as evidence, so long as each interview follows the protocol established by the Governor’s Task Force on children’s justice – which Michigan CACs already do.

CAC Highlights


Congratulations to LACASA on their national accreditation. They are now one of 31 CACs in Michigan that are nationally accredited. You can find a CAC near you at https://cacmi.org/resources/find-a-local-cac/ 

Congratulations Traverse Bay CAC

Congratulations to Traverse Bay Area CAC on the completion of their center expansion and renovation!

A Virtual Amazing Race Led By Delta Regional CAC

In August, Delta Regional CAC held a virtual Amazing Race to raise funding for services to help children and families in  children and families in Alger, Delta, Menominee, and Schoolcraft counties heal from sexual assault and physical abuse.

Get Involved: Donate Today!

We rely on the generosity of our donors and funders to do our work of providing resources and support to our network of Michigan CACs.  Please consider donating today to help us impact systems and services for child victims,