As a very “concrete” result of the efforts of Graci (left) and Dennis McGillicuddy, the staff and board of directors of the Child Protection Center and a countless number amazing Capital Campaign donors, the community now has an outstandingly beautiful, extremely functional, warm and inviting facility for children and families in crisis to go for evaluation, treatment and healing.
A children’s advocacy center is a child-focused, facility-based program in which representatives from many disciplines - including law enforcement, child protection, prosecution, mental health, medical and victim advocacy, and child advocacy - work together to conduct medical examinations and forensic interviews and make team decisions about investigation, treatment, management and prosecution of child abuse cases.
In 1985, the National Children’s Advocacy Center movement began and soon the concept of advocacy centers emerged in Florida. These centers provided child-friendly settings where investigations could occur and where treatment and prosecution plans could be designed. They also become sites for development of preventive strategies to reduce incidence of child abuse.
In the center of the lobby of the new home of the Child Protection Center is “The Pillar of Hope” which is dedicated to the incredible children who walk through our doors each day.
The first time a child comes to the Child Protection Center, he/she drops a marble down the “Pillar of Hope” as a symbol of HOPE as they begin the healing process and as a reminder that they are not “alone”.
The “Pillar of Hope” also serves as a visual representation to the community of the number of children affected by abuse and the enormous need for the services of the Child Protection Center.
“It was in 1986 that Graci McGillicuddy learned of the tragic death by abuse of an 18 month old toddler and decided to do something about it. What she did was to marshal her significant community contacts, focus her volunteer energies and transform her dreams into reality for the abused and neglected children of Sarasota.” (Dr. Chiaro)
Shannon Nicole’s story is tragic, preventable and not isolated. We dedicate our building to her and to those who have needlessly suffered as she did.
Read Shannon's Nicole's Story (pdf)
Child Protection Center, Inc.
720 South Orange Ave.
Sarasota, Florida 34236
2210 S. Tamiami Tr.
Venice, Florida 34293
North Port Location:
6919 Outreach Way
North Port, Florida 34297
222 N. Roberts Avenue
Arcadia, Florida 34266