Heart to Heart Child Advocacy Center is dedicated to effectively and compassionately serving children who are victims of abuse, and to strengthening our community's response to child abuse.
Our mission is to provide advocacy services and enhance safety for child abuse victims and their families by facilitating a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach to prevention, investigation, prosecution and treatment of child abuse. This includes providing comprehensive, coordinated and compassionate services to victims of child abuse and their non-offending caregivers.
Children in Harvey, Marion and McPherson counties shall have a safe and neutral place to talk about circumstances in their life with specially trained forensic interviewers, and have Family Advocates and a multidisciplinary team to make decisions in their best interest. Promote all agencies to harmoniously work together to ensure children of abuse are not victimized again by the system that protects them.
The origins of Heart to Heart date back to efforts in 2000 by Harvey County Sheriff Townsend "T." Walton and Department for Children and Families Social Work Supervisor Lori Hardin to improve the experiences of children coming forward with allegations of abuse.
In the course of their work, Sheriff Walton and Lori Hardin had conducted many interviews with child victims of abuse. They realized that traditional interviews were extremely difficult for children, compounding the trauma of their abuse. Walton and Hardin also recognized that the environment where child interviews were conducted needed improvement.
Back then, interviews were commonly conducted at police stations, in police cars, at schools or even in the child's home with the alleged perpetrator in the next room. Too frequently, the child also was interviewed numerous times by various agencies involved in the abuse investigation. There had to be a better way!
By creating Heart to Heart Child Advocacy Center, children who had been abused could talk about what had happened to them in a safe, private and child-friendly location. The child and non-offending family members could also get emotional support and access needed resources.
The Child Advocacy Model ensures a multidisciplinary response to child abuse. Agencies collaborate, which eliminates the need for multiple and re-traumatizing interviews. Monthly case reviews ensure that the collaboration continues throughout the investigation and resolution of each child abuse case, and that services to meet each child and family's needs are available.
Since opening in August 2001, about 2,000 children have been helped by Heart to Heart Child Advocacy Center. Many of those cases have resulted in warrants, arrests, and convictions.
Working Together to end child abuse
Your gift will help change lives
With support from our community partners, funders and volunteers, we will always be here for the children and families who need us most.
Heart to Heart CAC is an accredited member of the National Children's Alliance and Child Advocacy Centers of Kansas.
Heart to Heart CAC collaborates with community partners to provide quality resources to children of abuse and their non-offending family members:
A comprehensive multidisciplinary response to child abuse that meets the needs of child victims and their families.
A safe, friendly agency that puts the needs of the child first.
Interviews by professionally trained forensic interviewers, preventing further trauma to children by reducing the need to repeat the account of abuse.
Ongoing advocacy, support, court preparation and accompaniment as needed.
Communication and coordination among community professionals and agencies involved in child protection.
Coordination and tracking of investigative and prosecutorial efforts.
Referrals to needed services such as medical intervention and behavioral health services that help children and families heal.