A Brief History Of The Child Protection Center


A Walk Through The History Of The CPC

Child Protection Team


The Junior League of Sarasota conducted a Community Needs Assessment in 1978, which led to the establishment of the Community Coalition of Children and Families in 1980. It would later be named the Child Protection Center. CPC’s first services were child abuse intervention services through the Child Protection Team (CPT).


Florida newspapers printed about the death of Shannon Nicole, an 18-month-old baby. Shannon was beaten until dead by her mother and stepfather, her body left in a bag outside of a hospital. Reading about this horrific tragedy lit a fire inside Graci McGillicuddy, who made it her life’s mission to ensure no other children would suffer as Shannon Nicole did. Graci Found hope at CPC.


There was a clear need for services to help children & families recover from the effects of child sexual abuse. This need was answered with the development of CPC’s Sexual Abuse Treatment Program (SATP), which began providing psychotherapy to victims and families suffering from the trauma of this abuse.




In 1991, the services of CPT and SATP were extended to children abused by a non-caregiver – a population previously not served. The Personal Safety and Community Awareness Program (PSCA) was planned and service provisions began in early 1992. This child abuse prevention program was created to teach children, parents, and caregivers the skills and tools necessary to keep children safe.


Knowing that responding to and treating early indications of aggressive behavior is essential to successfully break the cycle of abuse, the Kid Kindness Program (KKP) began providing psychotherapy to children who exhibited such behavior or have abused other children.


The court ordered the Children and Families Supervised Visitation Program (CFSVP) to begin to facilitate visits between non-custodial parents and their children. These visits are supervised by extensively trained volunteers in a clean, safe, and healthy environment for children.



The Child Protection Center had the  Grand Opening of its new and current facility, named The Child Advocacy Center. It was dedicated to the memory of Shannon Nicole.


The Pet Advocates Working in Sarasota (PAWS) began providing support to children in court with certified therapy dogs.


The Child Protection Center was named Non-Profit of the Year by the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce.


The Child Protection Center was named Non-Profit of the Year by the Venice Area Chamber of Commerce.




The Child Protection Center celebrated 40 years of serving the community with its comprehensive approach to the prevention, intervention, and treatment of child abuse.

The Child Protection Center receives accreditation from the National Children’s Alliance (NCA) for Child Advocacy Centers across the United States.

Accreditation is the highest level of membership with National Children’s Alliance and denotes excellence in service provision.


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To report child abuse or neglect contact the Florida Abuse Hotline at:


Child Protection Center, Inc.

720 South Orange Ave.
Sarasota, FL 34236
Phone: 941.365.1277
Fax: 941-953-7181

North Port Office

5600 Peace River Road
 North Port, FL 34287
To Contact Supervised Visitation
Phone: 941-423-1921

Arcadia Office

222 N. Roberts Avenue
Arcadia, FL 34266
Phone: 941-365-1277