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What is a Children's Advocacy Center?

Hopeful Horizons has a nationally accredited Children's Advocacy Center (CAC) that offers a range of services to parents, children, schools and a variety of individuals and organizations throughout our community. 

Hopeful Horizons serves families in Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton, Jasper and Allendale Counties. 

The CAC works to prevent the re-victimization of sexually abused children by the system’s response to cases. Hopeful Horizons works with community agency partners involved in a particular case — including medical, legal, law enforcement, educators, social services, guardians ad litem, and mental health — to take appropriate action as quickly as possible. Case coordination occurs through a multidisciplinary team (MDT) staffing, where professionals give input into the assessment of needs and the development of safety and treatment plans.

We welcome everyone, regardless of your race, religion, color, national origin, age, disability, or sexual orientation. We also do our best to provide accommodations for the languages spoken in our community. Hopeful Horizons employs both English and Spanish-speaking advocates and aims to reach all areas of the local English and Spanish speaking communities to offer its services. Services in other languages are also available.


We are proud to offer all of our services equally to the deaf or hard of hearing and the visually impaired.

Here are a few Hopeful Horizons blogs that might be of interest to you:

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Forensic Interviews

A forensic interview is a neutral, fact-finding interview that is done when there is a concern about abuse. The interview is done in a comfortable, child-friendly setting by Hopeful Horizon’s Forensic Interviewers, who are trained in the nationally-recognized ChildFirst® Forensic Interview Protocol. With the coordination of our community partners, care is taken to ensure that a child only has to tell their story one time, while protecting the integrity of the case for investigation and prosecution.

Forensic interviews can only be requested by DSS or Law Enforcement. Hopeful Horizons cannot complete forensic interviews at the request of parents, guardians or school personnel.

Trauma Assessment

Children who have experienced abuse or trauma are at increased risk for developing emotional and behavioral difficulties. A trauma assessment includes an evaluation of common difficulties children may have. This appointment lasts approximately 1.5 hours and includes the caregiver and child, each meeting with a trained therapist. In addition, caregivers and children ages 7 and older will answer questionnaires about the child’s emotions and behaviors. The results are used to help guide recommendations for the child and family. Trauma assessments are provided at no cost to the child or family.

Hopeful Horizons' staff are experts in child abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault and the trauma associated with this violence and abuse.

Therapy & Treatment

At Hopeful Horizons, we are committed to using treatments that have been proven in research to be effective. Based on the needs identified in the mental health assessment, children and their caregivers find the services they need at Hopeful Horizons or are referred to programs available elsewhere in the community.

Hopeful Horizons' staff are experts in child abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault and the trauma associated with this violence and abuse. Hopeful Horizons' therapists are trained and certified in evidence-based trauma treatments, are licensed and have Master's degrees in social work/counseling. Our Children's Advocacy Center (CAC) is nationally accredited and as such the staff has to meet the National Children's Alliance standards for providing mental health services to victims of child abuse.

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT): Children and families who receive TF-CBT meet weekly with a therapist, both individually and jointly. This treatment typically lasts 12-20 sessions. After Crisis: Helping Your Child Heal​​

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) is a specialized evidence-based treatment program designed for caregivers and their young children (ages 2-7) who are experiencing behavioral and/or emotional difficulties. 

Child Abuse Medical Evaluation

Hopeful Horizons provides forensic medical evaluations through a partnership with MUSC Child Abuse Pediatrics. These medical evaluations can reassure the child and their caregiver(s) that they are normal and healthy, diagnose the child and treat any medical conditions related to the abuse, and to identify and document any significant findings or conditions related to the abuse.


Hopeful Horizons has Family Advocates who meet with parents and caregivers to help explain the process of services and case coordination. Family Advocates help parents understand the system and professionals involved in a case and help connect children and families with resources, such as therapy, legal help and medical help. Families receive routine follow up calls from our Family Advocates who will help assess the ongoing needs of the families and children.

Hopeful Horizons' Children's Advocacy Center is nationally accredited by:

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