About Friends of CACB

Our Friends are Champions for Children

Our History

1995

In 1995 a steering committee was formed by representatives from the Florida Department of Health Child Protection Team, the Florida Department of Children and Families, and the Office of the State Attorney to initiate the process of establishing a Child Advocacy Center based on the national model, to better serve abused children in Brevard County, Florida.

1996

In 1996 the Children’s Advocacy Center of Brevard (CACB) was officially established, as the fourth CAC in the state, at the office of the Child Protection Team (CPT).    Wuesthoff Health Services, the contracted provider for CPT at the time, became the fiscal intermediary for CACB.

An Operations Advisory Board was created to provide policy oversight and included the organizing agencies as well as the Brevard County Sheriff's Office, a mental health representative and a victim advocate.

1997

In 1997 the Clinical Intervention Program (CIP) of the CACB was created to address the gap in mental health services specific to the unique needs of abused children.

1998

In 1998 the CACB’s Development Council was established and in 2000, became a separate 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization known as the Friends of the Children’s Advocacy Center of Brevard whose MISSION it is to raise funds and awareness for the Children’s Advocacy Center’s programs and services for abused children.  The Friends of the CACB are comprised of volunteer leaders in the community, who serve on the board and selflessly give of their time, talent, and treasure to support the CACB programs and services.

2010

In 2010, Wuesthoff Health Systems was sold, and the Space Coast Health Foundation (SCHF) was established from the proceeds as a 501 (c) (3) organization whose mission is to enhance the health and wellness of individuals and communities in Brevard County.  The SCHF became the program manager and fiscal agent of the Children’s Advocacy Center of Brevard.

The Friends of the CACB help secure a Permanent Home for the Children's Advocacy Center of Brevard

Today the CACB has a permanent home at the Center of Collaboration, thanks to the partnership between the Friends of the CACB and the Space Coast Health Foundation.

It began with a Legislative visit in January 2016 led by Friends’ Director Delores Spearman and CACB / CPT Director Jeanie Raciti.  The goal, to secure funding for a permanent home for the Children’s Advocacy Center.  State Representative and Speaker of the House, Steve Crisafulli listened and heard the need.  Obtaining funding for a permanent home for the CACB would become his Speakers Project for 2016.  With Representative Crisafulli’s support, the Florida Legislature awarded $1.5 million toward a building project for the Children’s Advocacy Center of Brevard.

The Space Coast Health Foundation, the CACB’s parent organization supported this initiative with financial resources and an even greater vision, to develop a Center to serve the needs of Brevard’s nonprofit community serving the most vulnerable individuals in the community

A Permanent Home for the CACB would not have been achieved without the support of The Friends of the CACB, The Florida Legislature and the Space Coast Health Foundation.

The CACB has onsite, the Child Protection Team, a Child Protection Investigative Unit of the Department of Children and Families, a Law Enforcement Agent and canine handler of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office and a companion canine, Rocky, who provides comfort and support to abused children receiving services at the Advocacy Center.

The Friends of the Children’s Advocacy Center of Brevard (CACB) are committed to its mission:

To increase awareness of the issues of child abuse and neglect and to raise funding for the Children’s Advocacy Center of Brevard, an organization that serves abused and neglected children of Brevard County, Florida.


CACB Mission
To improve our community’s response to child abuse and neglect by providing a comprehensive multi-agency team whose first responsibility is to the child victims; by advocating for the total well-being of children; by building a relationship of trust; by reducing trauma; by promoting therapy for child victims and their families; by holding offenders’ accountable; and by calling the community’s attention to the issue of child abuse and neglect.

Teacher Helping Preteen Students With Homework During Tutoring Session

Did you know?

  • 46% of child fatalities due to child maltreatment occur before the first birthday.
  • Children under two are the most frequent subjects of physical abuse and neglect.
  • 1 in 4 girls & 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday, and only 1 in 10 will tell.
  • Children who have been abused are:
    • 42% more likely to become suicidal.
    • 192% more likely to develop drug addictions.
    • 103% more likely to become alcoholics.
  • The annual cost of child abuse in Florida is $10 billion dollars.

In Brevard County:

  • 8,500 Child Abuse Reports are received in Brevard County on average each year.
  • The most egregious child abuse reports are referred to the Children’s Advocacy Center of Brevard (CACB) for abuse assessments to support investigations.
  • More than 1,500 child abuse assessments were completed at the CACB in FY 2020.
  • Clinical Intervention Program therapists provided 5000 hours of onsite crisis and short-term trauma focused counseling for child victims and non-offending family members.

About the CACB

Established in 1996, the Children’s Advocacy Center of Brevard intervenes in our community’s most serious cases of child sexual and physical abuse, and neglect.  The Advocacy Center is a collaborative effort of the Child Protection Team, the Department of Children and Families, the Office of the State Attorney, County and Municipal Law Enforcement Agencies, and Mental Health professionals.

     Co-located at the Advocacy Center is a Department of Children and Families investigative unit. The onsite collaboration of multiple agencies in decisions regarding a child’s welfare helps to ensure the safety of abused children.

     The Child Protection Team provides onsite forensic and specialized interviews, medical exams and consultations, and other assessment services to support the investigation of these child abuse cases.

     The Advocacy Center’s Clinical Intervention Program, provides child victims and their non-offending family members onsite and immediate crisis and short term trauma focused counseling free of charge.

The CACB Core Partner Organizations engaged in the collaborative effort to investigate, assess and intervene in child abuse cases are: 

  • Florida Department of Children & Families
  • The Child Protection Team of Brevard
  • Mental Health Professionals
  • Municipal Law Enforcement
  • The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office
  • The Office of the State Attorney

Operations Advisory Board Purpose

The members of the Operations Board serve as advisors to the Children’s Advocacy Center of Brevard, which operates in accordance with the standards and rules established in Florida Statute 39.001, 39.202-39.303.5.  The CACB’s purpose is the development and maintenance of a multidisciplinary approach in Brevard County that will:

  • Coordinate the investigation of child abuse and neglect;
  • Promote therapy for victims and non-offending family members;
  • Assure appropriate legal disposition of child abuse cases;
  • Promote interdisciplinary communication and training of personnel from the various Brevard County offices, agencies and departments involved in the protection, investigation, treatment and prosecution of child abuse and neglect cases;
  • Supervise, oversee and promote policy for the operation of the CACB, and make such reports to the contributing offices, agencies, and departments as may be required; and
  • Act as liaison to the multidisciplinary professionals involved in the CACB program.

Friends of the Children’s Advocacy Center of Brevard

EXECUTIVE BOARD

President
Tyler Sirois [April – Dec 2022)


President
Susan Moore [Jan – March 2022)

〉CEO Atlantic Development of Cocoa
〉CEO Beach Organics Skin Care

Vice President
Kimberly Cribb [2018]

Director of Growth and Development, HRMC/Women and Children Service Line

Secretary
Callena Spearman
[2019]

Insurance Agent, Canopy Insurance Agency

Treasurer
Don Hemmenway [2004]

Engineering Manager, Renesas Electronics

DIRECTORS

Eve A. Bouchard, Esq. [2019]

Attorney & Counselor at Law, Nash & Kromash, LLP

Randall Coleman [2009]

Senior Vice President Wealth Management Advisor, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc.

Travis Conradt, Ph.D. [2015]

Florida Institute of Technology

Sergeant Christopher Crawford [2015]

Rockledge Police Department

Meredith Gibson [2014]

VP Marketing, Community Credit Union of Florida

Sharon James [2018]

Commercial / Residential Designer, Owner of The Warehouse

Jessie Das Kirk [2008]

Owner, Kirk Realty, Inc.

Phillip E. Lane, CLCS [2021]

Vice President, Insurance Office of America

DIRECTORS

Carole W. Marshall [2013]

Community Volunteer

Jennifer Mench [2016]

〉Victim Witness Counselor
〉Office of the State Attorney, 18th Judicial Circuit

Kimberly Bonder Rezanka, Esq.  [2016]

Lacey Lyons Rezanka

Representative Tyler Sirois [2013]

Executive Director, Office of the State Attorney,18th Judicial Circuit

Delores Spearman [2001]

Community Volunteer

Kenneth Whittaker, CPA/PFS, CFP®, [2000]

Whittaker Cooper Financial Group

Ashley Wood [2017]

Office of the State Attorney, 18th Judicial Circuit

ADVISORY

Sheriff Wayne Ivey [2013]

Brevard County Sheriff’s Office

State Attorney Phil Archer [2013]

State Attorney, 18th Judicial Circuit

DIRECTOR EMERITUS

Norman Wolfinger [2000; Advisory/Emeritus 2011- 2016]


Maxwell King, Ed.D. [2001- 2021]

OUR BYLAWS

Download The Friends of the Children's Advocacy Center of Brevard, Inc ByLaws