The Bridge is a comprehensive, child-focused program that offers a highly effective, one-stop approach to child abuse investigation. The facility allows law enforcement, child protective services professionals, prosecutors and the medical and mental health communities to work together to assist child victims in a comprehensive and cohesive manner.
The Bridge strives to improve investigations while reducing harmful effects on children and families. With early intervention, the caring team of professionals at The Bridge help break the cycle of abuse and cultivate a child’s chance of becoming a healthy adult.
The Bridge is a founding member of Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas, a membership organization of over 60 Texas child advocacy centers, and a fully accredited member of the National Children’s Alliance, a membership association of over 300 children’s advocacy centers.
The Bridge proactively engages community partners, implements impartial investigative techniques, coordinates case tracking, makes counseling referrals and educates victims and non-offending family members on victims’ rights, resources and options. These steps reduce duplication of efforts between agencies involved in the investigation, expedites prosecution, increases conviction rates of offenders, and helps victims onto the path of recovery.
The collaborative efforts of a multi-disciplinary team, the core element of a children’s advocacy center, has resulted in a program that holds offenders accountable, enhances accuracy of information gathered during investigations, increases convictions and decreases the stress placed on a child caught in the judicial system.
With the broad continuum of specialized services The Bridge pro vides, the cycle of abuse is being broken. Every child deserves the chance to enjoy their childhood and the opportunity to become a healthy, productive adult.
CACs are dedicated to ensuring that child victims and their families receive vital services at no cost. Because CACs in Texas are required to be governed by a local, community-based 501(c)(3) organization, they rely heavily on private dollars raised through foundation grants, individual and corporate gifts, civic and community support organizations, and special event fundraising. More than 50% of the fiscal revenue budgets are provided through private dollars.