For nearly two decades, there have been several attempts to bring a Child Advocacy Center (CAC) to Cuyahoga County. Most recently, in 2015, United Way of Greater Cleveland (UWGC) used their position as a convener around system issues in the community to bring together several important stakeholders to discuss the feasibility of bringing a CAC to Cuyahoga County. With all other major metropolitan areas in the country already having a CAC, they and the stakeholders felt that this best practice model would be helpful for victims of child abuse in Cuyahoga County as well. UWGC awarded a $100,000 planning grant to the Domestic Violence and Child Advocacy Center help provide the structure needed to develop a CAC. Consultants were hired with these dollars to help organize and catalyze a planning process, and ensure all voices were heard in an effort to incorporate all the diverse perspectives around the table into the final product. An advisory committee was formed that included representatives from both, as well as from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland Division of Police, Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, Cuyahoga County Division of Children and Family Services, Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court, Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, Cuyahoga County Sheriff’’s Department, Cuyahoga County Witness Victim Service Center, Family Justice Center, Frontline Service, International Association of Forensic Nurses, the Metrohealth System, and University Hospitals. Catalyzed by a large capital grant from the Cleveland Foundation, construction of Canopy CAC began in July 2018. In Fall 2018, Canopy Child Advocacy Center opened under the direction of Jennifer Johnson, with the Domestic Violence & Child Advocacy Center serving as the fiscal agent, legal entity, and providing its infrastructure. Canopy CAC will be providing services to children under 12 years old who live in the City of Cleveland and for whom there is concern they have been sexually abused. As we build capacity to serve more children, the referral criteria will be expanded. For more information on our referral criteria, click HERE
Our mission is to serve children and families affected by child abuse through a multi- disciplinary partnership focused on safety, healing, and well-being.
We envision a community where children are safe, families are resilient, and those affected by child abuse are empowered to heal and thrive.