Annual Report 2020:

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A Message from the Director


Dear Friends and Supporters:

The Children's Advocacy Center (CAC) movement in South Carolina came together with "a United Voice for Kids" in 2020.  We developed new pandemic-related solutions for technical assistance, training, and delivery of direct services to children and families at sometimes lightning speed. Our CACs worked with multidisciplinary team partners as first responders in the statewide response to child abuse during the pandemic. Our CACs ability to rapidly transition to Telehealth delivery of some forensic interviews and mental health services allowed children and families to continue to have access to critical services even during the height of the pandemic.  Our CACs provided assistance to 10,001 children during 2020 which was only a slight decrease over the prior year. Our CAC staff and multidisciplinary team partners showed how committed they are to ensuring that all kids have access to evidence based CAC services that will help them find healing, justice and trust.

During 2020, we continued to collaborate with statewide partners and our CACs on the work needed to fully implement our 5 year CAC and multidisciplinary team development plan. Thanks to the support of foundations, endowments, legislators, and individual supporters, we now have 27 operational CACs in South Carolina. Of these 27 CACs, 17 are primary CACs and 10 are satellite CACs operating under the umbrella of an accredited CAC in another South Carolina county.  In addition there are  3 more CACs still in development. Together these CACs provide evidence based services in all 46 counties of South Carolina.  This development plan work has allowed us to increase the capacity of CACs in South Carolina to meet the increasing needs of child abuse victims and their families. The 10,001 children that received services at CACs in 2020 represents a 23 percent increase over the past 5 years. 

During 2020, more than any year in the history of the CAC movement in South Carolina, it became clear that our united voice for kids needed to be heard clearly across the state and at the federal level. Many of you helped us reach out to federal representatives about the need for a fix to the Victims of Crime Act to ensure child abuse victims continue to have access to needed services. Many of you also reached out to state leaders during the pandemic to help them understand the importance of our first response efforts to support child abuse victims and the need to maintain those services. 

We look forward to our continued work with all of you during 2021 to ensure that all children have equal access to best practice services from CACs that can help to provide healing, justice, and trust for families in their time of need. Kids need our united voice more than ever! Together we can continue to #BeHeard4Kids in 2021.

Sincerely,

Thomas Knapp
Executive Director
South Carolina Network of the Children's Advocacy Centers 



Who We Are

The South Carolina Network of Children's Advocacy Centers (SCNCAC) is an accredited state Chapter of the National Children’s Alliance.  SCNCAC is the coordinating entity for the CACs in South Carolina. We provide support, advocacy, quality assurance, and statewide leadership for CACs to help support the important work CACs do in communities across South Carolina. CACs provide a coordinated, evidence-based response to children who have been abused in all 46 counties of South Carolina. We are a non-profit 501(c)(3) membership organization for all CACs in South Carolina.

Find a CAC


Our Team at SCNCAC

The strength of our work here at SCNCAC comes from the dedicated professionals that make up our team. We have 5 staff members, volunteers, and 10 members on our board of directors who work together to empower communities and our member Children's Advocacy Centers to deliver a best practice response to child abuse in South Carolina. We support the dedicated staff at our CACs and multidisciplinary teams (MDTs) across the state who do the critical work providing evidence based best practice services to children and families who are suffering from the impact of child abuse in all forms. Our member CACs staff and MDT partners are the true heroes providing a first response to child abuse.

Our Team


Partners in our success

We are thankful for all of our partners who provided financial and educational support throughout 2020.









1. SCNCAC Connect

During 2020, SCNCAC focused efforts on moving technical assistance, training and other support services to a virtual format in response to the pandemic. We increased online training offerings through our eLearning portal and developed a professional networking tool designed to connect Children's Advocacy Center and Multidisciplinary Team professionals across South Carolina. The system, that launched in December, allows SCNCAC member CAC/MDT professionals to ask questions, post documents, and engage in focused online discussions.

Visit SCNCAC Connect


2. #BeHeard4Kids

During the social distancing and school closings there was concern that when children have to stay at home, they are often isolated from the places where adults and friends might become aware of an issue with their safety or well-being. With some abused children being isolated due to the pandemic, we developed the #BeHeard4Kids campaign to educate people that it is more important than ever to be vigilant during times of crisis like the pandemic.

View the Campaign


3. Schools and the MDT

In collaboration with the South Carolina Children's Justice Act Taskforce, we continued work during 2020 to encourage the involvement of schools with local CAC multidisciplinary teams (MDTs) at our member CACs. To help facilitate this process during the pandemic, we developed virtual training sessions and materials for school teachers on how to recognize signs of abuse while interacting with kids in a virtual environment. 

Learn More


4. Training Goes Virtual for Safety

In March of 2020 to help ensure the safety of our CAC staff, MDT partners, and all attendees, we transitioned all trainings and meetings to a virtual format. In addition to live virtual trainings we increased our online trainings through our eLearning system.  We anticipate continuing this virtual format through at least the first half of 2021.

Learn More About eLearning


5. Statewide Needs Assessment

SCNCAC collaborated with Project BEST to complete a statewide mental health needs assessment to identify strengths and gaps, clarify priorities, and inform quality improvement for mental health services provided to children and families at CACs. The assessment identified a need for additional therapists trained in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and delivery of the TF-CBT model via Telehealth. SCNCAC then collaborated with CACs of North Carolina on a training project funded by a grant from the Duke Endowment in November 2020.

Learn More About TF-CBT Training


6. Our Strategic Plan

In 2020 we completed the second year of our three year strategic plan. To achieve our vision that all South Carolina children will have equal access to a CAC regardless of where they live, the plan focuses on five key areas:

  1. Organization Capacity
    Additional grants were secured to support staff which will enhance training and program services to member CACs.
  2. Membership
    A statewide mental health needs assessment was completed and training programs developed based on the assessment.
  3. Growth & Development
  4. The SCNCAC CAC/MDT development plan moved into year two with 27 CACs providing services in all 46 counties.
  5. Training & Technical Assistance
    Our training offerings for Victim Advocates and Forensic Interviewers were expanded and converted to a virtual format.
  6. Awareness & Education
    The SC Child Abuse Response Protocol Act was introduced in the SC House and Senate. 

View the Full Strategic Plan


7. A Look to the Future: 2021 Plans

After a year that many are describing as the most difficult year the CAC movement in South Carolina has ever faced, we are looking ahead to projects that will continue to address the pandemic but also set us on a course for a brighter future. These projects were started late in 2020 or were just in the planning stages. 

  • As was mentioned earlier, in late 2020, the South Carolina Network of Children's Advocacy Centers (SCNCAC) and the Children's Advocacy Centers of North Carolina (CACNC) were awarded a one year grant from the Duke Endowment to begin a thee year project to enhance mental health services for child abuse victims in rural and economically disadvantaged areas of the Carolinas. As of the writing of this report, the first year of the project is well underway.
  • During 2020, through a grant from the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolin Foundation, SCNCAC began a collaborative project with SC Department of Social Services (DSS) to integrate the SCNCAC CAC Collaborate Database with the DSS CAPSS database for child abuse referrals. This database integration is scheduled to go live in the 2nd quarter of 2021.
  • In 2021, SCNCAC will complete work on a statewide CAC medical services needs assessment to guide the growth and development of CAC medical services in the future.


  • In 2021, SCNCAC will be working with statewide stakeholders to assist with development and full implementation of the Safe Babies Court (SBC) Team approach in 3 South Carolina counties where CACs are the host sites and exploring opportunities to expand the SBC model to other counties. A main goal of this project will be to connect very young children and their families with needed supports and services to advance health and well-being to help prevent future abuse and neglect.



CACs Helping Kids

At the end of 2020, there were 17 primary CACs in South Carolina, many of which are regional CACs that cover multiple counties. In addition to the primary CACs there were 10 satellite CACs managed by an accredited primary CAC in another county. There were an additional 3 satellite CACs in development at the end of 2020.

Often times children who received services at CACs in 2020 were referred for more than one type of concern or abuse allegation. In each instance, the CAC staff determined the best approach to help the child and family. This normally would involve scheduling a forensic interview to determine what happened and then ensuring the most appropriate services were offered to meet the needs of child and family.  The primary reasons for referrals to South Carolina CACs in 2020 are listed below.



In addition to the children that CACs provided direct services to in 2020, many more people received case management services through our CACs. Additionally many children and adults received prevention services, such as training, education, or other services throughout the year. You can watch a one minute video about what CACs do and learn more about the CAC response by clicking on the link below.

Learn More About CACs


The Impact of the Pandemic

From almost the beginning of the CAC model in South Carolina, SCNCAC member CACs have served more children statewide than in the prior year.  However, this was not true in 2020 as we saw a decrease in the reports of child abuse due to the pandemic. This does not mean that there was a reduction in child abuse rather, reports dropped because children were out of school and some were attending school virtually. This meant that children were away from the teachers, counselors, and other professionals who may notice a safety concern and make a report.

Year

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

Children Served

8,160

8,551

9,558

10,690

10,001

Change

----

+5%

+12%

+8%

-6%

In addition to child abuse reports being down in 2020 due to the pandemic, CACs also had to adapt rapidly to implement new health and safety guidelines, which temporarily reduced the number of kids they could see in a day. CACs introduced Telehealth measures for some services which brought CAC capacity back to near normal in the 2nd half of 2020. Even with the reduced service numbers in 2020, CACs have seen an approximately 23% increase in kids served over the past 5 years.

The pandemic also had an impact on the training and technical assistance services that SCNCAC provides for CAC/MDT professionals, and the public. For 10 months in 2020, all of our assistance, education, information and training events were transitioned to a virtual format.  


Helping CAC/MDT Professionals

During 2020 SCNCAC conducted 56 events which were attended by 1,021 CAC, MDT, and other professionals. These events ranged from large training sessions to smaller technical assistance, peer review, and information sessions. Due to the pandemic, almost all of these events were virtual in 2020. CAC staff and Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) partners from across the state attended in order to meet licensing, professional development, accreditation, or other requirements for the professional work they do.  Below is a summary of the events for 2020.





In addition to the official events provided by SCNCAC, we also completed thousands of technical assistance requests related to the CAC database, forensic interview recording management system, peer review, CAC administration, CAC/MDT development, accreditation assistance, and many others. These technical assistance requests were by phone, email, or individual virtual meetings. All of these support requests were to support CACs and MDTs in the work they do to deliver a best practice response to child abuse in local communities across South Carolina.



Responding to Child Abuse in a Pandemic

The year was one filled with stories of heroes at CACs and local multidisciplinary teams continuing to respond during the pandemic to ensure kids and families suffering through the trauma of child abuse had access to critical services.  The professionals at our CACs knew that children were especially vulnerable to abuse during the pandemic and CACs responded with Telehealth and other innovative procedures to ensure that children and families could access the help they needed. 

As is the case every year, CACs not only provided a statewide and local response to child abuse, they also focused efforts on the prevention of child abuse and ways to keep kids safe. Due to the pandemic, our normal Children's Advocacy Center Day and Child Abuse Prevention Month activities were canceled. However, SCNCAC and all of our CACs realized that prevention and public awareness efforts were still important and perhaps critical during the pandemic. So even though the CAC Day, which provides statewide awareness of child abuse and the importance of prevention, was canceled, our local CACs worked tirelessly to provide prevention and awareness activities in their local communities that met with social distancing guidelines and still created awareness to help kids. Below are some pictures of these heroes and their prevention efforts as a part of the child abuse respond during the pandemic. Some of these pictures were taken just before the pandemic arrived in South Carolina as CACs were preparing for Child Abuse Prevention Activities but as always, CACs adapted and continued with local prevention activities while meeting the social distancing guidelines required with the pandemic response.

Hopeful Horizons
Beaufort


Beyond Abuse
Greenwood


Children's Recovery Center
Myrtle Beach


Dorchester CAC
Summerville


Durant Children's Center
Hartsville


Foothills CAC
Anderson


SCNCAC
Columbia


Care House
Florence




Revenue, Support, and Other Changes

BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation Grants

State Funding

USC Children's Law Center

In-Kind Income

Direct Public Support and Contributions

Duke Endowment Grants

National Children's Alliance Grant

Other Types of Income

Program Income

Project Best

SRCAC Grant

SVAP Grant

VOCA Grant

Total Revenue, Support, and Other Changes

Amount

$140,348

$143,868

$10,148

$25,000

$72,003

$215,476

$155,000

$5,169

$9,520

$32,596

$15,000

$40,800

$54,320

$919,248

Expenses

Program Services - Grants to CACs

Program Services

Management and General

Contract Program Services

In-Kind Expenses

Total Expenses

Amount

$307,167

$304,941

$40,358

$149,165

$25,000

$826,631

Statement of Financial Position

Unrestricted Net Assets Beginning of Year

Net Assets End of Year

Restricted Net Assets End of Year

Unrestricted Net Assets End of Year

Change in Unrestricted Net Assets

Amount

$113,935

$206,552

$78,928

$127,623

$13,688

South Carolina Network of
Children's Advocacy Centers

Empowering SC communities & Childrens's Advocacy Centers to deliver a best practice response to child abuse.

P.O. Box 2195
Columbia, SC 29202
803-576-7250
Email
REPORT ABUSE