In 2021, Children’s Advocacy Center of Spartanburg, Cherokee, and Union was awarded $83,430 from the Mary Black Foundation in general operating support to provide services for children and families who have been affected by sexual or physical abuse.
About Children’s Advocacy Center
Children’s Advocacy Center of Spartanburg, Cherokee, and Union (CAC) is a trauma-sensitive, child-friendly organization that provides services for children and families who have been affected by sexual or physical abuse. Rather than multiple professionals interviewing children in detail regarding abuse allegations, the CAC model brings a multidisciplinary team of professionals together to work collaboratively in a child-centered approach.
Their mission is to heal and give voice to abused children through assessment, treatment, education, and community partnerships.
In 2020, CAC participated in a needs assessment with Project BEST, an initiative to bring evidence-supported treatments to all children in need in South Carolina.
This assessment identified a gap in mental health services for children with problematic sexual behaviors. As a result, CAC is having a team of therapists trained in Problematic Sexual Behaviors – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (PSB-CBT), an evidence-based group treatment designed to reduce and eliminate problematic sexual behaviors in children ages 7-12.
Different from age-appropriate sexual exploration and play that may occur in childhood, problematic sexual behaviors in youth are sexual behaviors initiated by youth that are developmentally inappropriate and pose a risk to themselves or others.
Through a children’s group and a concurrent caregiver group, PSB-CBT strengthens the family, builds empathy in children, and teaches specific topics, such as sexual behavior rules, impulse control skills, and behavior management.
CAC Therapy Coordinator Tracy Adair, one of the CAC clinicians leading the new PSB-CBT group, shared that she has already seen progress in children just a few weeks into the group. The group has already helped children feel less alone and change negative thought patterns about themselves.
CAC anticipates that providing this supportive group therapy will help de-stigmatize seeking treatment and allow more children and families to access services proven to reduce and eliminate sexual behavior problems.
To learn more about this therapy program or Children’s Advocacy Center of Spartanburg, Cherokee, and Union visit: https://www.cacsp.org/.