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A message from the Executive Director

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Happy Fall Friends, 


Each new school year is a chance for a fresh start. While this year brings its own special challenges, there is still joy.  I've enjoyed seeing 1st day of school pictures, watching kids happily getting off the bus, and hearing school stories from my nieces and nephews.  

I hope that you have been following CACI's social media this month and enjoy it as much as I do. Each day CACI is profiling staff photos and Back to School tips from CACs across Illinois.  These pictures are adorable and they are also a good reminder of the joys and challenges of childhood. The challenges are great for our children now, as well as their parents. If you are looking for any resources on how to best navigate this stress, click here.

A special thank you to our CAC directors for joining us both in person and virtually at our Annual Directors Meeting September 14-16: your ideas, questions, and energy continue to inspire me. As well, thank you to the CACI staff for their time, attention and thoughtfulness, you are so appreciated.  

Best wishes and take care, 


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Be sure to follow us!

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FY21 Annual Report Released

The CACI FY21 Annual Report covers a wide range of achievements by CACI & its members. We encourage you to read it.

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2021 Annual Directors Conference & Membership Meeting

Held September 15 & 16 at The Hyatt Place Champaign/Urbana.

Inspired by this year's theme "Powered by Unity and Diversity", CAC directors from across IL met as we continue to grow our important skills in relation to the organization and management of Children's Advocacy Centers.  

A sincere thank you to Commercial Electronics/V2 Interview Room Recording System for sponsoring this event in part to keep conference fees low. All participants will have the opportunity to enter to win a comfort frog!

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Kenny Matthews

Chief Financial




If you're on Collaborate, please remember to have all data input by the 15th of each month. That is all we will need from you.

If you're not on Collaborate, please send your DCFS Data forms to Hanane and myself.


This past month, I read The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday and highly recommend it. It is a short, easy read and offers great insight on how to be and how to live. Let me know if you've read it or if there is something you think I should read!


I'm looking for some great hiking spots - hidden gems welcome! Send me your favorite spots in your neck of the woods @Kenneth Matthews.

Michael Morgan

VOCA Program Grant Monitor

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VOCA Fiscal Year 2022 will be starting October 1st, 2021. Please be looking out for FY22 VOCA Grant Materials.

Hanane Bousfoul

Data & Communication Specialist


We are excited as more centers are able to join Collaborate. Stay tuned for Collaborate statewide training next month, followed by Bi-weekly forums. These forums will be an opportunity to address any question about the system.

If you're not on Collaborate, please email your DCFS Data forms to Kenny and myself. 

Kathy Murphy

VOCA Fiscal Grant Monitor

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Upcoming Due Dates:

  • CESF September Expense PFR due Tuesday, October 5, 2021

  • VOCA Combined September Expense and Closeout Expense PFR and Inventory Report due Tuesday, October 12, 2021.
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Cara Vock 

Director of Programs

Illinois Children's Advocacy Centers never closed their doors during the Covid-19 pandemic. They continued to offer vital services, and became creative on how to provide victims assistance in a safe and sometimes virtual way. In Outlasting the Storm, released by the National Children's Alliance in August 2021, we see that IL CACs were not alone. This national picture of the shift of in-person services to sometimes virtual services includes: telemental health, tele-victim advocacy, tele forensic interviews, and telemedical health. This report shows that CACs responded to the adaptations required by COVID-19, and as a result has created lasting opportunities and continued new challenges. CACI's focus is ongoing support to the CACs and their teams, as they continue to learn and adapt to the needs of the children in their communities amidst this ongoing health crisis. 

The MDT Coordinator Training in December will now be virtual. Speaker information, registration and Agenda are pending. 

Reminder that the Lesson 3 Core Concepts for Team Facilitation Community Consult will be on September 30th @ 11:00 AM. You can register HERE

Mike Burns

Statewide MDT Coordinator

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An open statement to Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Maggie Nichols, and Aly Raisman from the National Children's Advocacy Center (NCAC)

All four of you were incredibly courageous today in testifying before the United States Senate Judiciary Committee and your testimony was incredibly powerful. However, you should never have had to speak at this hearing. This hearing would have never been necessary if these allegations were appropriately handled in 2015. While the focus has been on what the FBI, USA Gymnastics, and the US Olympic Committee did wrong, there was little focus on what “right” looks like. What should we have provided to all of you? All four of you were minors and deserved to be immediately referred by law enforcement or social services to a Children’s Advocacy Center where you would have received a forensic interview conducted by a trained forensic interviewer who would elicit your statements about the abuse in a trauma-informed manner and setting. Then, you and your family would have been supported by Victim Advocates and provided necessary and appropriate medical and evidence-based therapy to help you heal from these experiences. Instead, all of you were unnecessarily re-traumatized by a system that should have been there to support and protect you, a system that must do better. If this is how we treat premiere athletes, then how do we treat children of less opportunity or recognition? All four of you, your fellow gymnasts who experienced abuse, and those who have supported you deserve better and the entire Children’s Advocacy Center movement stands with you!


MEDICAL MONDAY HIGHLIGHT: Drs. James Anderst and Nancy Kellogg developed an online app to help the multidisciplinary team with child abuse recognition/diagnosis. This app is free and easy to use. Investigators and medical professionals alike can benefit from its' use. Read more HERE.

Model Programs Guide | Literature Reviews

Read literature reviews on a wide variety of topics pertaining to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's Model Programs Guide.

Read More
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95 days until Christmas. Your first reaction is?
Bah Humbug!
My shopping is almost done!
I can't wait!
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April House Children's Advocacy Center FY21 Year in Review. July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021, April House continued to provide essential services in assisting with the coordination, investigation, and referrals in child abuse cases in Whiteside County. April House is a proud United Way Partner Agency!

Visit Their Website

The Amy Schulz Child Advocacy Center is hiring for a Advocate/Caseworker

Advocates are assigned to victims of child sexual, physical abuse or those who have witnessed trauma and their non-offending family members to provide support and act in the child's best interest during the investigation, criminal and juvenile justice hearings and make referrals for therapy and other support services.

Apply Here
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Do you enjoy working with children? Do you have clinical experience in working with clients that have experienced trauma? Shining Star is currently hiring for the position of Children’s Counselor. Please click on the link below for job description and to apply!

Position Overview: Full time position that will provide specialized trauma-focused mental health services and evidence-based treatment to children and their non-offending caregivers.


  • Master’s Degree required in Counseling, Social Work, Psychology, or related field
  • Highly self-motivated and self-directed
  • Strong age-appropriate facilitation and educational skills
  • Ability to work with diverse groups of people
  • Sound judgment, professionalism and a positive attitude
  • Ability to work collaboratively with professionals in the community
  • Possession of a valid Illinois Driver’s License and proof of insurance
  • DCFS background check
Apply Here
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Registration for the Candy Corn 5K Run on October 9, 2021 in Carmi, IL is open.

T-shirts are limited. 

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Sign Up Here
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