Mission Statement

To provide services that respond to the emotional and physical needs of crime victims, assist victims of crime to stabilize their lives after victimization, assist victims to understand and participate in the criminal justice system and provide victims of crime with a measure of safety and security.

What is the Family Advocacy Program

When a non-offending parent or caregiver brings their child to the CAC for services related to their case they often experience an array of emotions and are anxious about what will happen next. This is where Family Advocacy comes into place. The Family Advocate greets the family and helps the parent/caregiver to understand that the goal is to help their child start on the road to recovery. The Family Advocate shares information with the parent/caregiver and offers emotional support during the critical time when their child is receiving services related to their case. The parent/caregiver’s support is vital in the abused child’s recovery, so it is the Family Advocate’s role to support the parent/caregiver. The Family Advocate reviews the Client’s Needs Assessment and provides a written referral for needs such as counseling, Kid’s Court, food and clothing etc. Family Advocates provide follow up contact and continue to offer emotional support to the non-offending parent or caregiver when needed.

Services Provided

Assistance with Victim Compensation:

Includes making victims aware of the availability of crime victim compensation, assisting the victim in completing the required forms, gathering the needed documentation, etc. It may also include follow-up contact with the victim compensation agency on behalf of the victim.

Criminal Justice Support/Advocacy:

Refers to support, assistance, and advocacy provided to victims at any stage of the criminal justice process, to include post-sentencing services and support.

Crisis Counseling:

Refers to in-person crisis intervention, emotional support, and guidance and counseling provided by advocates, counselors, mental health professionals, or peers. Such counseling may occur at the scene of a crime, immediately after a crime, or be provided on an on-going basis.

Follow-up Contact:

Refers to in-person contacts, telephone contacts, and written communications with victims to offer emotional support, provide empathetic listening, check on a victim’s progress, etc.

Information and Referral:

Refers to in-person contacts with victims during which time services and available support are identified.

Personal Advocacy:

Refers to assisting victims in securing rights, remedies, and services from other agencies; locating emergency financial assistance, intervening with employers, creditors, and others on behalf of the victim; assisting in filing for losses covered by public and private insurance programs including workman’s compensation, unemployment benefits, welfare, etc.; accompanying the victim to the hospital, etc.

Telephone Contacts:

Refers to contacts with victims during which time services and available support are identified.

If you would like to learn more about the Family Advocacy Program or about the Gulf Coast CAC, please contact our office at 850-872-7760 or click on the “Contact” link on our website to submit your inquiry.