About Us

Braveheart is a name that represents the courage it takes for children to tell, the bravery and dedication of our team, the innocence at heart of every child and the heart of the community to speak up in the partnership with us.

 

Impact: According to the center for Disease Control ad Prevention, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men are sexually abused before the age of 18. Children of every gender, age, race, ethnicity, background, socioeconomic status and family structure are at risk. No child is immune. On average we see around 170 children a year. In Fund Year 2019 (July 1st, 2018 – June 30th, 2019), Braveheart Staff worked with 159 children and their families and to date we have worked with over 2,750 children and their families since opening our doors.

 

Without effective therapeutic intervention, any traumatized children will suffer ongoing or long term adverse social, emotional, and developmental outcomes that may impact them throughout their lifetimes.

 

Braveheart’s services, in cooperation with MDT members, makes the community a safer place by ultimately leading to the prosecution of offenders. Child abuse cases that are coordinated through us saves the community an average of $1,000.00 per case. In one year, on average, Braveheart CAC helps save the communities we serve $160,000.00.

History: From 1992 to 1997 five young children were brutally beaten to death by their mother’s abusive boyfriends in Henry County IL. In response t these murders, a multidisciplinary team (MDT) involving prosecutors, police, The Department of Children and Family Services and Braveheart was created to provide a coordinated response to child abuse allegations. Braveheart first opened its doors in Cambridge to serve Henry County in 1999. Braveheart expanded, partnering with Marshall, Putnam and Stark Counties in 2002 and Bureau County in 2007.

 

Purpose: protection of the child, justice, and healing. Braveheart is a child-focused model that coordinates the investigation and treatment services for children involved in allegations of sexual or serious physical abuse. Our offices serve as the heart of the MDT’s initial response to child abuse. Prior to Braveheart kids had to endure multiple interviews with many different people, often re-traumatizing the child they are seeking to assist. Braveheart ensures that the child only has to be interviewed one time, by one person, in a safe child friendly place. The Braveheart staff member who interviews the child is specially trained to conduct a neutral fact finding forensic interview.

 

After the initial interview, Braveheart continues to support the child and family as well as coordinate MDT efforts. Monthly case review meetings are held to discuss the progress, barriers and next step of each child’s case to ensure cases do not fall through the cracks. We help connect children and families to needed resources, pay for specialized therapy and medical services for kids, and offer community education presentations on child abuse and prevention. We provide all of our services free of charge to children and their families.

Our Partners

Illinois Department of Family Resources

“The mission of Illinois DCFS is to protect children who are reported to be abused or neglected and to increase their families’ capacity to safely care for them; provide for the well-being of children in our care; provide appropriate, permanent families as quickly as possible for those children who cannot safely return home; support early intervention and child abuse prevention activities and work in partnerships with communities to fulfill this mission.”

 

Visit the DCFS website to learn more!

Law Enforcement

From local patrol officers to the secret service, Braveheart Staff stays in contact with our law enforcement daily. Here are the links or phone numbers to the law enforcement we use by county, state, and country. *If your city/town is not listed please call the local sheriffs department*

 

 

Henry County:

 

 

Bureau County:

 

Marshall County:

 

 

Putnam County:

 

Stark County:

 

Illinois State Police:

 

 

United States Secret Service:

 

Medical

Braveheart Staff frequently uses the Pediatric Resource Center (PRC) for our medical exams. Visit this website to learn more!

Mental Health Referrals

When Braveheart mental health staff is full with clients or we know of a referral we can make to better fit the families needs, we find local resources. Here are a few of our main mental health resources: