The Children’s Advocacy Center (Carrie Lynn Children’s Center) is an intergovernmental agency designed to provide an effective countywide multi-disciplinary approach to child sexual abuse and severe physical abuse cases.

In March of 1989, Winnebago County State’s Attorney, Paul Logli, convened an ad hoc committee in March of 1989 to explore ways to ensure broader inter-agency coordination in the handling of child sexual abuse cases. The Children’s Advocacy Center resulted from the consensus of the committee that more could be done to help child victims of sexual abuse. Organizational work began, and in December of 1989, the Children’s Advocacy center Advisory Board met for the first time. A protocol was completed and filed in August of 1990.

In the interim, Governor James Thompson signed the “Children’s Advocacy Center Act” (August 24, 1989) which mandated the State’s Attorney of each county appoint an Advisory Board. The Act charges this board with the responsibility of developing a written protocol addressing the investigation and prosecution of child sexual abuse cases in a way that would effectively minimize the stress created for the child victim and his/her family by the investigatory and judicial process. The Act also requires a protocol for coordinating treatment referrals for these children and their non-offending family members.

In February of 1991, the Children’s Advocacy Center began accepting cases. Since that time, services have been expanded to include serious physical abuse cases as well. This is pursuant to an amendment to the “Children’s Advocacy Center Act” which provides for such expansion.

As a result of much commitment, planning, and construction the Carrie Lynn Children’s Center opened its doors on November 3, 1997. Since that time, services have been expanded to encompass Boone County cases also.

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