Our Story

The inspiration for developing a Child Advocacy Center (CAC) in Erie County came in 1992 when a private citizen, Lee Gross Anthone, read an article in Lear’s magazine about child sexual victimization. The article showcased a CAC in California. When Ms. Anthone learned that no such facility existed in New York State, she organized a task force of concerned citizens and professionals to study how CACs were developed around the country.

In 1993, Child and Adolescent Treatment Services took the lead as agency responsibility for the CAC. A combination of funds from Child and Adolescent Treatment Services, the federal and state government, and private sources including the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County enabled the CAC to open in 1994.

The CAC was one of the first two CACs to open in New York State and served as a model for many developing centers including Canadian CACs. The CAC was initially housed in an office building on Delaware Avenue and in 1999 celebrated its re-location at 556 Franklin.

Child Advocacy Center at BestSelf (CAC)

The CAC is an innovative, comprehensive center offering safety, support and a healing place for children and families affected by trauma and abuse in Erie County.

Our partner organizations include law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, child protective services, medical professionals, mental health counselors and victim advocates.

Our Mission

The mission of the Child Advocacy Center is to integrate and coordinate services to meet the needs of child victims of sexual and physical abuse and their families at a single, child friendly facility.  Such response is intended to reduce trauma, promote accountability and facilitate healing.

Our Vision

Children in their homes and in our community are healthy, safe and free from harm.

Our Partners

Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) and partner members include:

  • Erie County Department of Social Services
  • Child Protective Services
  • Office of Cousel
  • Amherst Police Department
  • Buffalo Police Department
  • City of Tonawanda Police Department
  • Depew Police Department
  • Town of Hamburg Police Department
  • Eden Police Department
  • West Seneca Police Department
  • Village of East Aurora/Town of Aurora Police Department

  • FBI-Buffalo office
  • Evans Police Department
  • Cheektowaga Police Department
  • New York State Police
  • Erie County Sheriff’s Department
  • Town of Tonawanda Police Department
  • Lackawanna Police Department
  • Lancaster Police Department
  • Village of Hamburg Police Department
  • Village of Kenmore Police Department
  • Orchard Park Police Department

  • Erie County Probation Department
  • Village of Akron Police Department
  • Erie County Office of the District Attorney
  • John R Oishei Children’s Hospital
  • Department of Social Services – Office of Counsel
  • Office of the County Attorney
  • Crisis Services, Inc.
  • International Institute of Buffalo
  • BestSelf Behavioral Health
  • Seneca Nation of Indians/Cattaraugus Indian Reservation