Shelby County Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) was founded in 1993 by then District Attorney, Robert Owens, Jr., along with the Department of Human Resources, law enforcement personnel, and Shelby County community members in response to child abuse in the area. At the time, the center only provided forensic interviewing services, and was housed in a building rented for just $1 from the Shelby County Board of Education. Come 1997, our current facility – Owens House – was built and named in honor of District Attorney Owens, as he was instrumental in the development of the agency.
By 2003, the agency’s partner base expanded to include professionals from the fields of education, mental health, medicine, and juvenile justice, allowing the center to provide more comprehensive, well-informed care to the children of Shelby County. Today, Shelby County Children’s Advocacy Center (Owens House) has a staff of 5 full-time employees from diverse professional backgrounds, including mental health, social work, criminal justice, and community education. Shelby County CAC serves children aged 3-19, adults with intellectual disabilities, and families who have experienced sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, physical abuse, severe neglect, drug endangerment, and those who have witnessed violent crimes. This staff, in collaboration with Shelby County’s Multidisciplinary Team, provides forensic interviews, mental health counseling, family advocacy, community education courses, and other services supporting families through the whole process -from disclosure to justice – all free of charge.
We at Owens House are grateful for the continued support of our community, and we look forward to continuing to serve the children and families of Shelby County for years to come.