Braveheart coordinates our community's response to reports of child sexual abuse, severe child physical abuse, or witness to other traumatic crime. Before Children's Advocacy Centers, kids and teens had to be interviewed and share their story over and over again, to each individual agency involved. Now, team members from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, law enforcement, State’s Attorney’s Office's and specialized providers come together at Braveheart.
This coordinated team effort reduces the number of interviews a child must go through during the course of an investigation. One person interviews the child while team members observe from another room through a closed circuit TV. The interview is recorded to capture a permanent record of the child or teen's statement. Braveheart staff provide support to families through the investigation and criminal court process. Braveheart maintains contact with the team members involved and is able to keep the family informed as the case travels through the different systems. The staff provides advocacy, education, case management, and referral services.
Braveheart first opened its doors in Cambridge to serve Henry County in 1999. Braveheart has expanded, partnering with Marshall, Putnam and Stark Counties since 2002 and Bureau County since 2007. Braveheart has served over 1,500 children and their families.