As the Children’s Advocacy Center serving Boone and Winnebago
Counties, the mission of the Carrie Lynn Children's Center is to provide
a comprehensive multi-disciplinary response to child sexual abuse and
serious physical abuse allegations in a neutral, child-focused setting.
The purpose is to coordinate and track the investigations, medical
treatment, counseling referrals, prosecution and training in order to
protect the best interests of the child victims and their families.
It is recognized that each child and family has an inherent right to
be treated with dignity.
It is recognized that child abuse is a community problem. No single
agency, individual or discipline has the necessary knowledge, skills or
resources to provide all the assistance needed by abused children and
It is recognized that the combining of all experience and professional
knowledge of DCFS Investigators and follow-up workers, law enforcement
officers and detectives, prosecutors and medical/mental health
professionals can result in a more thorough understanding of case issues
and can provide the best possible system response.
It is recognized that open communication and case coordination among
agencies are critical for protecting the child and promoting justice and
It is recognized that the protection and best interests of each child
will be foremost in all recommendations related to investigation,
prosecution, treatment referrals and follow-up.
It is recognized that “…multiple interviews by multiple interviewers
have been found to be emotionally damaging to children…” (National
Center on Child Abuse and Neglect).
The Children’s Advocacy Center (Carrie Lynn Children’s Center) is an
intergovernmental agency designed to provide an effective countywide
multi-disciplinary approach to child sexual abuse and severe physical
In March of 1989, Winnebago County State’s Attorney, Paul Logli,
convened an ad hoc committee in March of 1989 to explore ways to ensure
broader inter-agency coordination in the handling of child sexual abuse
cases. The Children’s Advocacy Center resulted from the consensus of the
committee that more could be done to help child victims of sexual abuse.
Organizational work began, and in December of 1989, the Children’s
Advocacy center Advisory Board met for the first time. A protocol was
completed and filed in August of 1990.
In the interim, Governor James Thompson signed the “Children’s Advocacy
Center Act” (August 24, 1989) which mandated the State’s Attorney of
each count appoint an Advisory Board. The Act charges this board with
the responsibility of developing a written protocol addressing the
investigation and prosecution of child sexual abuse cases in a way that
would effectively minimize the stress created for the child victim and
his/her family by the investigatory and judicial process. The Act also
requires a protocol for coordinating treatment referrals for these
children and their non-offending family members.
In February of 1991, the Children’s Advocacy Center began accepting
cases. Since that time, services have been expanded to include serious
physical abuse cases as well. This is pursuant to an amendment to the
“Children’s Advocacy Center Act” which provides for such expansion.
As a result of much commitment, planning, and construction the Carrie
Lynn Children’s Center opened its doors on November 3, 1997. Since that
time services have been expanded to encompass Boone County cases also.