Who We Are
Dove House Children’s Advocacy Center is a fully accredited 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that supports the investigation, prosecution, and therapy / follow-up of reported child sexual abuse/assault cases in Iredell and Alexander Counties, all from our safe and child-friendly facility.
Child sexual abuse continues to be a monumental problem in our society, and our local communities are no exception. We receive, on average, four new cases every week.
Who We Work Within Our Community
Since opening in September 2002, Dove House’s existence has enhanced coordination between the community agencies and professionals that are involved in responding to reports of child sexual abuse. These partner agencies within Iredell and Alexander county, that comprise our community’s Multidisciplinary Team (MDT), include the 6 law enforcement agencies, 2 Departments of Social Services, the District Attorney’s Office, Guardian ad Litem programs, multiple medical and mental health providers, and the Dove House staff.
To minimize trauma, promote healing and enhance investigation and prosecution for child victims of sexual abuse through Advocacy, Intervention, Collaboration and Education.
How We Work as a Team
The coordinated agency response facilitated by Dove House promotes better understanding of and respect for each agency’s role and expertise, strengthens informed case management decisions, and most importantly, is designed to minimize the trauma that children and their non-offending family members can suffer during the investigation and intervention process. Our coordinated response has eliminated the need for traumatized child victims to go to multiple “scary” locations (e.g. police stations, District Attorney’s office, hospitals, child protective services, etc.) for interviews and medical exams. Rather, the child comes to Dove House’s non-threatening “home” environment, with the MDT members involved in their case coming to the child instead of the child being taken to each of them. One of the most important things we do is ensure that the child and non-offending family members are referred into the therapy they need to begin their healing process.
Why We Work as a Team
Working together as a Team from the very beginning of a report of child sexual abuse reduces the trauma for the child and their family. Additionally, the multidisciplinary team approach results in higher quality investigations, which leads to optimum conditions for effective prosecution of perpetrators. Our District Attorney’s office has consistently averaged between 85-90% successful prosecution rate of these perpetrators since 2003 – a tremendous improvement over the less than 20% success rate prior to Dove House’s existence. Successful prosecution protects future child victims.
How We Continue to Serve Our Community
We continue to add community services. In 2015 we collaborated with Children’s Hope Alliance (formerly Barium Springs Home for Children) to locate Mental Health onsite at Dove House. In 2016, we introduced the “Safety First”, with age-appropriate curriculum for 1st and 5th graders. “Safety First” was initially introduced in Iredell-Statesville Schools. The program was a success and has since been added to Mooresville Graded School District and Alexander County Schools. It has been well received by students, teachers, and parents. The goal of “Safety First” is to raise awareness and empower kids to STOP-RUN-TELL. We equip children with safety tools, such as identifying the “safe adults” in their life and to reach out to a “safe adult” for help whenever they feel uncomfortable or threatened in any situation. Individualized to each child, their “safe adult” can be a parent, guardian, teacher, counselor, resource officers, etc.
In February of 2001, a small group of six volunteers formed a Steering Committee for the purpose of creating a Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) in Iredell County, North Carolina.
This action was compelled upon discovery of multiple incidents of sexual assault against the 4-year-old son (by a neighbor) of one of our Committee members, which was responded to in an uncoordinated, less-than-satisfactory manner from many well-intended agencies throughout our community. Through research, our Steering Committee learned of the CAC concept and immediately developed a strategy to obtain “buy-in” from our agencies that would eventually comprise our Multidisciplinary Team (MDT). Our first objective was to get our District Attorney (DA) on board with our CAC vision. Estimating that the current successful prosecution rate of child sexual assault perpetrators was less than 20%, our DA immediately and positively endorsed the development of a CAC for Iredell County. Our DA’s endorsement propelled all of our Steering Committee’s meetings with top agency executives, which culminated in our hosting of an Interagency Forum on May 16, 2001. Based on the overwhelmingly positive feedback from this Forum, by early Fall 2001, our CAC Steering Committee achieved a fully executed Interagency Agreement with all MDT partner agencies. Multidisciplinary commitment was now in place.
The vast support of the creation of Dove House made it abundantly clear that this community was ready, willing, and able to dramatically improve our response to victims of child sexual abuse. Following the successful pursuit of philanthropic grants (our greatest support from The Duke Endowment), and the initiation of what would become our annual signature fundraiser (“An Evening for Dove House”), we occupied a leased facility in July 2002, hired 3 full time staff, created operations and corporate documents, facilitated the MDT in the development of a community protocol, and began receiving clients in September 2002. After just over 2 amazingly impactful years, and at their request, we expanded to include Alexander County in our service area.
In 2006 our Board of Directors purchased land in Statesville to eventually build, and own, a new facility that would be designed specifically to meet the needs of our clients, our staff, and our Multidisciplinary Team.
In 2009 construction began, and in November 2009 we occupied our current “miracle house” — made possible only by the gracious and overwhelmingly generous support of the community that we serve. Led by the amazing Spivey Construction Company, and volunteer-extraordinaire Jack Grossman, and a hand-picked Building Committee team, donations poured in and by the time we occupied our current 6,400 square foot facility, the building and its contents were 93% debt-free through massive donations of material, labor, and cash support. The land and building mortgage was paid in full in May 2015.
We will be forever grateful especially to Spivey Construction of Mooresville, NC, who donated their project management services and managed this entire project from start to finish, as well as the many other companies who donated materials and labor to create this amazing, state-of-the-art, safe haven for children and families.
We welcome individual and group tours. Call 704-883-9814 to schedule a tour today.
We have 6 full-time staff members who are passionate about their work, dedicated to their clients, and highly skilled in their professional fields. Our staff consists of :
- Executive Director
- Forensic Interviewer
- 2 Victim Advocates
- Community Outreach Coordinator
- Administrative Assistant / Bookkeeper
If you have any questions or concerns, or would like to speak to a staff member, please contact us.
Our Board of Directors
Our Board consists of volunteer community leaders who are passionate about the Dove House vision and mission.
Jolanda Ter Linde
Honorary Board Members