CARE House is a non-profit child advocacy center [CAC] that serves the 1.2 million residents of Oakland County, providing critical services to physically and sexually abused children. All of our services are offered at no cost to our clients.
Currently in its 39th year of operations, CARE House of Oakland County was founded as the Child Abuse and Neglect Council of Oakland County in 1977, through a collaborative partnership of law enforcement agencies, the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office, the Junior League of Birmingham, Children’s Protective Services and other stakeholders, to address child sexual abuse and severe physical abuse. In 1989, CARE House expanded its services to include services directly related to child advocacy.
Each year, 5000 children and non-offending family members come through CARE House to make use of our comprehensive services. CARE House receives cases of suspected child abuse from law enforcement officials and children’s protective service workers. The child comes to our facility for a forensic interview which is conducted by a highly-trained staff person and witnessed by the investigative team. The child is able to disclose if abuse occurred in a calm, stress-free environment while avoiding the potentially traumatic experience of undergoing a police interrogation. CARE House also provides therapy services for these children and their non-offending guardians for as long as they need them. Additionally, CARE House operates several programs related to the prevention of child abuse, including an Early Head Start program which provides education and support to at-risk families; a Court Appointed Special Advocates program to benefit children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse and neglect; and our training programs which educate adults to better recognize the signs of abuse and neglect in the children they encounter in their daily lives.
Although CARE House works in collaboration with law enforcement and state services, we are not a government agency and we rely on donations to maintain operations. We are fortunate to have strong support from individuals and organizations throughout metro Detroit who believe in our mission: to be a leading resource in the prevention of child abuse and neglect, and the protection of children through advocacy, education, intervention, research, training and treatment, in collaboration with the community. We have been named “Best Managed Nonprofit” by Crain’s Detroit Business and in 2016 Erin Merryn, child advocate and inspiration behind “Erin’s Law,” said of CARE House, “I’ve never been so impressed by a CAC before and all the programs they do at their center for children and families.” CARE House plays an essential role in supporting and protecting the most vulnerable segment of our community, and as Oakland County’s sole child advocacy center, CARE House’s supporters are a critical component in offering direct, effective solutions.
When provided with support services and appropriate treatment, the vast majority of abused and neglected children are resilient enough to overcome their pasts. Unfortunately for many, when no intervention occurs, the outcome is predictable: when childhood goes wrong, adulthood goes wrong, and the sad story of abuse, and even death, repeats itself from one generation of troubled families to the next.
There is hope: there is CARE House. CARE House is a safe haven for kids thanks to a network of caring adults and organizations who contribute time, energy, talent and financial resources, and who believe that it shouldn’t hurt to be a child.