Children's Assessment Center

Each year, an average of 800 to 1,000 children in Kent County will visit the Children’s Assessment Center (CAC) to receive the services they might need.

Inspired by former Grand Rapids Police Chief Bill Hegarty, and his encounter with a scared little girl in a yellow dress who had been brought to the station as part of a child sexual abuse investigation, the CAC opened its doors in 1993 to serve child sexual abuse victims and their families.

This all-inclusive organization offers on-site therapy, medical exams, access to Child Protective Services, as well as law enforcement and forensic teams from the Grand Rapids Police Department and the Kent County Sherriff’s Department. Their multidisciplinary team ensures the entire process is child and family-centered. While the center operates on a referral basis, usually from CPS or law enforcement, parents can reach out to the CAC if they are concerned that their child may have been sexually abused.

The welcoming and secure environment offers children a safe place to share their story and start to heal. From their brightly painted facility, larger-than-life dollhouse, lego table, to the comfortable furniture, everything has been designed to make sure each child feels safe and welcomed. Jaycee, the CAC’s certified therapy dog, is also on hand to provide additional support.

The CAC also provides an educational program, Kidz Have Rights, which empowers students, school faculty and staff, and parents and caregivers to recognize, prevent, and end child sexual abuse.

All services made available by the CAC are free to use for victims and their families.