By: Paula Amat, Bilingual Family Advocate

An emergency case recently came to the CAC when an alleged offender turned himself in after the police responded to a domestic altercation. The offender’s daughter witnessed her father force himself into her mother’s apartment, where he repeatedly hit and attempted to strangle his ex-wife.

Taylor Edmunds, Forensic Interviewer, utilized CAC's new easels to assist with the forensic interview as recommended by the Child First Protocol. The easel helped the child enhance her ability to recount the scary moments she had seen the previous night. The little girl used the easel to draw her mother and circled the parts of her mother’s body where she saw her father hurt. The detective on the case reported that the offender was charged with Aggravated Battery with Strangulation, and the child's drawing significantly influenced this outcome.


Both the mother and daughter had lived in fear, scared that the offender would show up and hurt them again, as he had a history of violence. The mother endured physical abuse for years until she decided to end the relationship, therefore taking on the role of a single mother with all the accompanying stress. Yet, he hurt her again; this time, her young daughter witnessed the physically violent attack.


After their experience at CAC, the family can begin to heal as their sense of safety returns due to the child-centered forensic interview and the effective use of forensic interview tools.

By: Kate Schultz, Director of Clinical Services

We would love to take a moment and shine a spotlight on one of our long-time community partners, Hanover Township Mental Health Board. The Board was created in 1977 and is composed of volunteers from the community who are appointed by the Hanover Township Supervisor and Board of Trustees. The Mental Health Board is responsible for allocating funding each year to support services and programming for residents of Hanover Township in the areas of mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse. This year alone, approximately one million dollars was awarded to 30 area agencies that collectively serve over 3,000 residents.

The Hanover Township Mental Board has been an enduring supporter of the CAC. In fact, they have provided funding for our Forensic & Advocacy Services (FAS) program since our agency began back in 1989. They later joined the funding efforts when our Safe From the Start (SFTS) program was piloted in 2001, and also provided funding for our Family Support Services (FSS) program. For several decades, they provided discounted rental space for our clinical staff at their Resource Center in Streamwood. The Mental Health Board also graciously provided us with emergency funding in times of need and is always supportive of the work that we do at the CAC. We are exceedingly grateful for their partnership and collaboration throughout the years.

We also wanted to highlight something really exciting coming available soon in Hanover Township! Hanover Township is launching Hanover Landing, a 40-unit Permanent Supportive Housing structure for low-income and mental health or disability diagnoses right in the heart of Elgin. All residents will reside in brand-new one-bedroom apartments. The amenities include onsite laundry and a gym. In addition to state-of-the-art apartments, each resident will have access to a case manager from the Ecker Center for Behavioral Health to support their various needs. Each resident will also have access to a Disability Coordinator who is responsible for various group programming, helping organize transportation, and general relationship building. Ecker Center for Behavioral Health will also occupy a commercial space in the building that will be open to the public. This will bring their mental health and substance use services to the east side of Elgin. Construction is slated to be complete by September 8th. Tenant Selection is currently ongoing with a move-in date in late September. The project is supported jointly by UpHoldings, Housing Opportunity Development Corporation, Hanover Township, and Ecker Center for Behavioral Health. For more information, you can visit

The CAC of N&NW Cook County is so excited for Hanover Township and this venture, and for the many ways that it will provide care and support to the communities that we serve. We wish them enormous success!

On August 31, CAC participated in Niles West High School's Resource Fair for parents and families. Valerie Cifuentes, Bilingual Child & Family Therapist, and Gracie Ording, Family Advocate, passed out resources about internet safety and talking to your teen about safe dating. They spoke to parents about the importance of having intentional conversations with their teens about safe relationships in the real world and online.

Gracie Ording, Family Advocate

Don Duffey, CAC Board Member, Kate Schultz, Director of Clinical Services, Arlington Heights Mayor Tom Hayes, & Melanie Pignotti, CEO

Arlington Heights Mayor Tom Hayes & Melanie Pignotti, CEO

On August 29, Arlington Heights Mayor Tom Hayes presented CAC with a proclamation honoring CAC's 34th Anniversary. During fiscal year 2023, CAC demonstrated its unwavering commitment by assisting with 93 cases over 480 hours for residents of the Village of Arlington Heights, providing them with essential services, support, and resources.

We're excited to officially launch CAC's new Dream Again monthly giving program! Your ongoing monthly investment ensures that children in our community who have experienced abuse will get the help they need. A monthly gift of any amount is an easy way to help a child build resilience and live a healthy life.  Consider signing up today!

Make a bigger impact | Fit giving into your budget | Receive special communications

Last month, Arancha Lattanzio, a Program Associate from the National Children's Alliance (NCA) met with CAC staff for a site visit. NCA generously funds CAC through a Core Services Grant that currently supports Bilingual Forensic Interviewing.

Welcome Rachel Gilmore,

Grants Coordinator!

CAC's Annual Golf Outing

Date: Wednesday, October 4 

Location: Bridges of Poplar Creek, Hoffman Estates

Shotgun Start: 11:00 AM 

Cost: $200/golfer | $800/foursome


Registration includes:  

  • 18 holes with a cart, all games (excluding "Beat the Pro"), a small bucket of range balls, and a golfer welcome bag
  • “On the Course” Lunch
  • 2 Drink tickets
  • Awards ceremony after the tournament  
  • Drinks and hors d'oeuvres during social hour post-tournament

Sponsorship and vendor opportunities available until September 13!

Contact Megan Younker to support today.

Register today!
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Volume 43 | September 2023