Gulf Coast CAC

Protecting Children & Strengthening Gulf Coast Families

 

Since March of 2000, Gulf Coast Children’s Advocacy Center has transformed the lives of victims of child abuse and sexual violence by offering a refuge for victims and their families to cope with the terrible crimes of child abuse and sexual assault while reducing the fear and further trauma that disclosure and investigation often creates.

 

 

 

 

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Upcoming Event 

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Stars and Guitars 2017

2017/01/26 - Marina Civic Center

Please join us for our 6th Annual Stars & Guitars benefit concert sponsored by Eastern Shipbuilding Group! One of a kind show, all talent on the stage, singing your favorites in an acoustic setting. Hear the stories behind the musicMore info

 

 

 

 

Recent News

 

Read the latest news & updates on our blog!

 

Silent Epidemic-News Herald

December 6, 2016

 

 

PANAMA CITY - On Sunday evenings, Lori Allen sits down to scan national news headlines, looking for any case involving serious child abuse or child homicide. Allen, executive director of the Gulf Coast Children's Advocacy Center, can usually guess the facts of a case just by reading the headline. On a child homicide, the perpetrator generally will be a non-related caregiver - typically a boyfriend. There's usually a history of maternal substance abuse, previous instances of domestic violence at the home and the child usually will be 2 years old or younger. Last year, the exact situation played out in Calhoun County, when 2-year old Anya Dziura was killed by her mother's boyfriend, Stephen Young. Young pleaded no contest to aggravated manslaughter of a child, while Jessica Dziura, the girl's mother, was given a six-year sentence for child neglect. Reports and substantiated instances of child abuse in Bay County have increased during the past several years. In the last six months of 2015, the Department of Children and Families received 1,345 reports of child maltreatment, including neglect, physical and sexual abuse. Of those claims, 151 were substantiated with a serious finding from DCF. In the first six months of this year, there already have been 1,566 calls, and 172 serious findings. Allen, whose organization sees referrals from the six-county area of Circuit 14, saw just more than 1,100 children in 2014. Last year, 1,325 children were referred to them, and this year, they're on pace to break 1,500 cases. But, Allen said, it's not just about the numbers. "People look at those statistics and they think, 'Wow that's really tragic,' " she said. "When you put a face and a name and an experience to that ... there are some schools that don't even have that many children enrolled."

 

 

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Making life easier for the Johnson Family-WJHG

August 15, 2016

 

 

JACKSON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) A Jackson County family's life was changed Saturday, thanks to the assistance of the community, who came together to build a ramp to help make life for a young boy and his family a little bit easier. Three-year-old Bryson Johnson has seen some hard times in his short life. At seven-months-old, he suffered disabling injuries at the hands of his mother’s paramour, that left him wheelchair bound for the rest of his life. Since then, this young boy has been surrounded by the love and support of his family, and now, the community. "This is a community project,” says Jackson County Sheriff’s Investigator Cheree Edwards. “It takes the deputies, it takes the people that are here working, it takes LuAnne, and I know that it is what is going to be a blessing to them." "As a family advocate, we're here just to make our families happy and do whatever it is they need," explains Family Advocate, LuAnne Dean, with the Gulf Coast Children’s Advocacy Center. “They want this baby safe. They want him to stay in a safe place, and now we are here to do whatever it takes.

 

 

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About the Gulf Coast CAC

 

Since March of 2000, the Gulf Coast Children’s Advocacy Center (Gulf Coast CAC) has transformed the lives of victims of child abuse and sexual violence by offering a refuge for victims and their families to cope with the terrible crimes of child abuse and sexual assault while reducing the fear and further trauma that disclosure and investigation often creates.

 

Read More >

 

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Contact Info

 

Gulf Coast Children’s Advocacy Center

210 East 11th Street

Panama City, FL 32401

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Office: 850.872.7760

Fax: 850.872.7780

 

info@gulfcoastcac.org