Grantee Spotlight: CAC NEMO

August 7, 2023

The Child Advocacy Center of Northeast Missouri (CAC-NEMO) serves child victims of sexual abuse, physical abuse, and children who witness violence. Since opening their doors in 2000, CAC staff and community partners have been the front-line responders to reports of child abuse. 

The primary goal of The Child Advocacy Center is to ensure that children disclosing abuse are not further victimized by the intervention systems designed to protect them. Services offered include forensic interviews, children and family advocacy, mental health therapy, and school and community-based prevention education programs.

When a case is referred to The Child Advocacy Center, members of law enforcement, Children’s Division workers, the Prosecuting Attorney’s office, Juvenile Justice Center staff, medical SAFE Providers, child and family advocates, and mental health therapists form a Multi-disciplinary Team (MDT).  The MDT assures that the unique needs of children are recognized and met. Informed decision-making occurs at all stages of the case so that children and families benefit from a coordinated response.

In 2022, the CAC held 1,110 forensic interviews. 15% of those involved human trafficking or the sexual exploitation of children.  Marillac Mission Fund is a proud supporter of the organization’s Coalition to End Child Sexual Exploitation, which works to coordinate resources and services for these types of cases.  Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) refers to a range of crimes and activities involving the sexual abuse, trafficking or exploitation of a child for the financial benefit of any person or in exchange for anything of value (including monetary and non-monetary benefits) given or received by any person. Sexual Exploitation of Children and Child Sex Trafficking rates are higher than ever and happening in our communities – often going unnoticed or unidentified. The issue of Sexual Exploitation and Child Sex Trafficking is very complex and does not typically look the way movies or media make it appear. Understanding the intricacies of Sexual Exploitation and Child Sex Trafficking will assist in creating opportunities for prevention, identification and an appropriate response to all victims and their families.

The CAC hosts a variety of tours and educational programs. To learn more about the CAC and the Coalition to End Child Sexual Exploitation, visit their website. 

Update: January 2024- the CSEC Coalition model will be replicated at other CAC's across the state thanks to funding administered through Missouri KidsFirst.