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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Childrens Advocacy Center of SW Florida Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Human Services, Victims Services

Mission: To improve the lives of children and their families through a coordinated response to child abuse and neglect.

Target demographics: children who have been physically or sexually abused, or are at-risk of physical or sexual abuse and neglect

Direct beneficiaries per year: over 5,000 children and their families in Lee, Glades, Hendry and Charlotte Counties

Geographic areas served: Lee, Glades, Charlotte and Hendry Counties

Programs: Child Protection Team/Medical Services, Family Alliance Therapy, Parenting Education, Pine Manor After-School/Summer Program and East United Way House. All services and programs are free of charge.

Community Stories

56 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I feel so fortunate to have been chosen as a “lobby greeter/ puppy chaperone” in 2016. Despite the fact that children and families are coming to CAC during a stressful time in their lives, I have witnessed so much joy here. Almost every child (and many adults) who come in with any apprehension immediately brighten when they spot the puppy. Our four-legged volunteers from Gulf Coast Humane Society are the greatest icebreakers! People stop staring at their cell phones and start watching the puppy, smiling, asking questions, and engaging in dog talk. I get to hear about their animal friends at home, and about pets they have loved and lost. It is so rewarding to play a small role in a puppy’s socialization and training. Sometimes the little one’s visit to CAC is its first time away from its mother and littermates. In addition to the puppies, I have met some of the most amazing therapy dogs and their human partners, who work in individual therapy sessions, literacy programs, and dependency court. So much good work is being done by the ever growing team of four-legged volunteers!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been involved with the Children's Advocacy Center as a Pet Therapy volunteer and now as the Pet Therapy Coordinator, for a number of years. The help and guidance that the staff at the Center provide to the children, parents and guardians is invaluable. I think we all have a fervent wish that we never saw another child come through the doors, but unfortunately the horror that is child abuse never seems to stop. Caring, listening and guiding is what the staff at the Center do best.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

These are the saints among us! This professional organization is dedicated to meeting the needs of every child whom crosses their threshold. Most of us, have not the strength, fortitude, knowledge or experience to support (and maybe even heal) the precious children they serve. May God continue to bless their efforts!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Caring organization. Very responsive to the needs of our community. The work they do is tough and heartbreaking, but so necessary.

Marty Shavon P.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This CAC far exceeds expectations. There are several individuals that have been blessed by the outpouring of generosity by the community. Children's Advocacy Center of SWFL promotes working together and community in all aspects from walking through the door to walking out. The mission and vision work together in action not just by words. We are just one of the many that are working to make this world a better place. Thankful to be part of CAC of SWFL.

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Children's Advocacy Center of SW Florida is a fountain of refreshing waters. The center allows individuals to feel whole even if they are coming from a tragedy. A center that can go from an experience that causes hardship to a success that feels like accomplishment is one that is community centered and people focused. From the minute that you walk through the door you feel the warmth that CAC offers. Being intentional about your focus means that you make an effort for others and that is exactly what CAC does.

L John P.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I was on a tour in January and was so taken with the work of the agency that I volunteered to get involved. My experience has been limited, but most impressed with several of the programs including the use of dogs for comfort. Focused caring staff make for a well run organization.

Sandy McAtee H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer with the Center. Children are the utmost priority of the CAC.
Everyone there is very professional, kind and compassionate. It is a pleasure to volunteer there.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a lobby puppy handler in the Pet Therapy Program for almost 4 years and so enjoy interacting with the children and families who come to the Children's Advocacy Center. When they enter the lobby the children are drawn to the puppy with warm greetings and want to pet it and ask questions about the pup. It's heart warming to see this instant bond with the pup and to see the puppy's tail wag with affection for the children and families.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer in the Pet Therapy program at the Children's Advocacy Center for 6 months and really appreciate the warm caring staff. When children and families come into the lobby for their appointments their faces light up at the sight of a cute tail-waggin' puppy. They relax and love to watch and pet it, and their smiles and happiness make my day.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The level of commitment to the children and families affected by abuse is amazing. I've volunteered as a board member for many years and am always impressed with the staff and management.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a Board Member, I've been impressed with the dedication of the staff and volunteers. This mission is critical to help heal abused children and give them a chance to recover. The coordinated response to child abuse performed by this agency is worth our community support.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My dog and I work with therapists and their young clients who ask for a dog to be part of their therapy sessions. Wow! The therapists have received specific training on how to incorporate the dogs into the sessions. I was so impressed to actually see this in action. We worked with a therapist and her client for six months. It was very rewarding to see how my dog impacted the sessions. He absolutely loved going to the sessions! The Children's Advocacy Center has a top notch pet therapy program and we are happy to be a part of it!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer for over seven years at CAC with my therapy dogs Hope 11 and Bryn 2, we have always felt valued and appreciated.
CAC provides an invaluable service to our community.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My therapy dog Hope and I have been volunteering at CAC for almost 6 years.
Hope has assisted lots of children on their therapy journey.
There is nothing more rewarding than helping a broken child heal.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Sweetpea and I have been coming for several months. The families in the waiting area and the client enjoy loving on her. It’s nice knowing that Sweetpea brings some joy to their lives.

joycenarch

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a greeter in the lobby and have been doing this for over two years. What a joy it is to see the faces of the kids of all ages light up when they see a puppy in the lobby. It also helps the parents and guardians of the children and they start talking to the greeter or each other. Many of our beautiful puppies have been adopted by the staff and volunteers and also the parents who come in. It’s a 2 way win for the dogs from the Humane society and for the Therapists and staff. I have seen many of the children fulfill their therapy and skip out happy. In the time I have been there the program has grown and so many volunteers with service dogs have been added to the program. I can’t say enough good things about this program and CAC. One of the dogs who I adopted. What a wonderful agency this is for helping all walks of life. I’m proud to say I’m a small part of it.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer with the pet Therapy program I want to say what a wonderful agency it is. I sit outside in the lobby with a puppy and greet the people's when they come in. Seeing them go into therapy and the happy faces when they come out after several visits is awesome. This is a wonderful agency and the people who work there are great, kind and caring, I highly recommend this agency to all.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Great organization doing great things, staffed and run by people who are really dedicated to helping people and making a difference.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Ginger (now my 5 years-old Welsh Terrier) and I continue to be part of the Pet Therapy program at Childrens Advocacy Center of SW Florida. We interact with children in the lobby as well as participate in individual therapy and in support of other United Way agencies ...all professionally coordinated by CAC!. From my earliest interaction with CAC, I was taken by the client-centered focus on the part of everyone as they care for young people at times of stress and trauma. Ginger and I feel privileged to be part of such a high impact and caring organization. I encourage everyone to take a deeper look at CAC to find ways to be of support.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Ginger (3 year-old Welsh Terrier) and I have recently become part of the Pet Therapy program at Childrens Advocacy Center of SW Florida. We interact with children in the lobby as well as participate in individual therapy. From my earliest interaction with CAC, I was taken by the client-centered focus on the part of everyone as they care for young people at times of stress and trauma. Ginger and I feel privileged to be part of such a high impact and caring organization. I encourage everyone to take a deeper look at CAC to find ways to be of support.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Several years ago I was fortunate enough to find the Children's Advocacy Center as an adult survivor. The caring and compassion that all of the staff impart to every client that walks through the doors helps to heal the wounds that most people can't imagine. I was so impressed with the organization that when my therapy dogs were certified, we began volunteering to help the kids that were assigned a therapist. Three years later, and I'm now a proud part of the organization and leading their volunteer teams of therapy dogs and handlers.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

CAC is a warm and welcoming place. I am blessed to have been able to volunteer with my therapy dog Zoe . She responds to each client in a different way- seeming to know exactly what they need- and is rewarded with smiles and hugs.

Writer

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Chloe and I have been pet therapy volunteers with Childrens Advocacy Center since 2014. I am so impressed with the program and all that it does for children in our community. CAC fills a much needed role!

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Chloe (a dalmatian therapy dog) and I have been volunteering at Childrens Adovcacy Center since last year and are so very impressed with the staff, facility and resources. We sit in on therapy sessions and work with the outreach community reading program.

CAC is a wonderful asset to our community!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm a volunteer with the Pet Therapy Program handling a puppy in the lobby. The puppy and I greet people who come in the door and i enjoy seeing their faces light up. Both children and adults like petting the puppy and I can see them relax and smile when they share their stories about their pets. It's a stress reducer for the families and is also good socialization for the puppies.

The staff members at the CAC are very warm and caring and they make it a rewarding environment for families and volunteering.

Board Member

Rating: 5

My name is Cynthia Shafer and for the last 10 years I have volunteered to help serve Thanksgiving dinner to 160 plus families at Pine Manor. The staff at Child Advocacy help, the kids make decorations fot the tables and the residences make dishes native to tbem. Its truly amazing and thanks is given by all