Durbin Visits Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center To Announce $1 Million For Facility Renovation And Expansion

CHICAGO – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today visited Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center (CCAC) to discuss the $1 million in federal funding he and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) secured through Congressionally-directed spending in the Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) Omnibus appropriations bill for CCAC to renovate and expand their facility to better meet the needs of child victims and witnesses of violence and to expand its capacity to provide mental health services.

“Too many young people carry the pain, fear, and emotional scars of trauma,” said Durbin. “This reality makes the work CCAC does of providing a safe and supportive place for survivors of child abuse all the more essential. Today’s federal investment will help enable CCAC to double the size of their mental health department, allowing them to better serve the community. I’ll keep bringing federal dollars back home to Illinois to invest in our children and their futures.”

“We are proud to have Senator Durbin as a longtime supporter of ChicagoCAC and thank him for his generous contributions to our mission of providing trauma-informed care for children who have been victims of sexual abuse and other family and community violence,” said Char Rivette, MSW, LCSW, Chief Executive Officer of Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center. “When children and their caregivers are impacted by sexual abuse, domestic abuse, or gender-based violence, it’s important to see the larger picture to provide comprehensive care to all members of a family. It is with this understanding that Senator Durbin remains one of our favorite Luminary Award recipients and strongest champions for children.”

CCAC has initiated strategic planning around the concept of serving adult survivors under the same roof in a building to be called the Chicago Advocacy Network for Hope (CAN Hope) Center, with the goal of completing construction by 2024. This 50,000 square foot facility on South Damen Avenue will be adjacent and connect to the current CCAC building and will allow the CCAC to provide a more comprehensive community response, particularly to adults who suffered from abuse as children, caregivers of child victims who need support, and adult victims of sexual or domestic violence (DV). The new building will eventually double the size of the CCAC’s mental health department while also including space for multiple DV, sexual assault, and human trafficking service providers; DV court; child care; and a medical clinic for 24/7 care for survivors of all ages. This collaborative model will create a more trauma-informed law enforcement response for those who choose to engage with them and ensure that individuals get the help they need quickly and based on their needs throughout the cycle of their healing and protection process.

Durbin supported the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA), which was enacted last year and includes $750 million in funding for state red flag law and crisis intervention program implementation, $250 million in funding for community violence intervention programs, and more than $3 billion for school-based mental health and trauma-informed care. He also helped lead annual appropriations for SAMHSA’s Project AWARE grant program, increasing its annual funding from $71 million in FY19 to $140 million in FY23.