Emerald Coast Children's Advocacy Center


Emerald Coast Children's Advocacy Center

Preventing child abuse...Protecting children…Restoring lives 

The Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center provides services for the most egregious cases of child abuse (sexual abuse, severe physical abuse) in Okaloosa and Walton Counties. Centers located in Niceville and the Pierce Family Center in Defuniak Springs provide the care needed to restore childhoods, often lost to abuse. Children receive services in a child-friendly welcoming “home” environment. Services include therapy, crisis counseling, medical exams and evaluations, and referrals to other needed community resources. One of the key benefits of the Center is children are interviewed while other child welfare agencies observe. This allows the child to tell their stories just one time, in one location, minimizing the trauma the child has already experienced.

The Center, and its agency partners (law enforcement, Department of Children and Families, Child Protection Team, Office of State Attorney) work together to provide critical services to the child and family while working to holding offenders accountable.  Since 2000, the Center has provided services to over 16,000 child abuse victims and their families.  All services are provided at no cost.

Beyond intervention services, the Center implemented a comprehensive child abuse prevention education program, “Child/Teen Safety Matters” in Okaloosa and Walton county school districts. In the school year of 2021-2022 more than 21,000 students, grades K-8, were empowered to protect themselves in a world where adult no longer can.