HISTORY OF DAVIS HOUSE
History and Background
The Williamson County Child Advocacy Center Task Force was formed in March 1999 under the leadership of Ronald L. Davis, District Attorney General for the 21st Judicial District, and later became known as Davis House Child Advocacy Center while retaining Williamson County Child Advocacy Center as its legal name. The initial meeting was held on March 1, 1999. The Task Force mainly consisted of caring, concerned professionals who saw a need to improve services offered to child abuse victims in our community. A "Town Hall" meeting was held on April 29, 1999 that generated a great deal of community support for the Center. After a year and a half of planning, Davis House Child Advocacy Center (DHCAC) opened its doors in September 2000.
The Center was designed to provide a safe, child-friendly place for children to come following allegations of abuse and where they, and their non-offending caregivers, could receive services to help them through the healing process. Davis House was developed according to National Children's Alliance guidelines, which are considered best practices for Child Advocacy Centers across the country. In October of 2010, Williamson County Child Advocacy Center became a fully-accredited member of the National Children’s Alliance, and maintained “Accredited Member” status with approval for re-accreditation in 2016.
Since its inception, Davis House has been providing comprehensive services such as forensic interviews, case management, child and family advocacy, counseling, court support and victim court orientation to alleged child abuse victims and their non-offending family members or caregivers. We also provide leadership and coordination as participants in the state mandated Child Protective Investigative Team (CPIT), a multi-disciplinary team consisting of individuals from the following disciplines and organizations: law enforcement; Office of the District Attorney General; Department of Children’s Services; DHCAC; juvenile court officers; and medical personnel from Our Kids. Additionally, Davis House offers a comprehensive prevention program designed to educate and train adults in our community how to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child abuse.
In the years since Davis House first opened its doors, we have continually expanded our services as our caseload has increased. In 2006 we opened a center location in Hohenwald (Lewis County) so that clients in that area could more easily access the services of the Child Advocacy Center. In addition, we opened a third facility in Centerville (Hickman County) in 2016.
It is our goal to continue to expand services and to meet all of the needs of the children and their families in crisis. We look forward to continuing to positively impact the lives of children and families in need of our services.
The Board of Directors of Williamson County Child Advocacy Center approved a name change in 2012, and we now conduct business activities under the dba (doing business as) nameDavis House Child Advocacy Center (DHCAC).
The name change was adopted primarily due to the following:
- Williamson County Child Advocacy Center does not accurately reflect the service area of the Center, which includes Hickman, Lewis, Perry and Williamson counties (which collectively make up the 21st Judicial District of Tennessee)
- Opportunities for community engagement and local support are greater with a name that does not single out one service area
- Constituents incorrectly assumed the Center was an agency of county government
The Center’s new name reflects and honors the historical impact on the Center from its inception of Ronald L. Davis, former District Attorney General for the 21st Judicial District and former Chairman of the Board of the Center until his death in 2008. The Center implemented its name change beginning in March 2012 and completed the transition in July 2012. The Center will retain the former name as the organization’s official legal name.
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