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Our Story

The Northern Kentucky Children’s Advocacy Center (NKYCAC) is one of the longest standing centers in Kentucky. NKYCAC has been providing services since 1987 to children who have been sexually abused. This grassroots effort began as the Community Pediatric Clinic through St. Luke Hospital where the first child sexual abuse medical examination was conducted by Dr. Philip Lichtenstein who was the founding physician for the Clinic.

Shortly after the opening of the Community Pediatric Clinic, a child abuse task force was created and was comprised of community partners. The task force quickly recognized that community agencies were struggling to communicate and collaborate in the best interest of the children. The task force worked to identify the best response to protect and support children when there was an allegation of sexual abuse. The Children’s Advocacy Center model out of Huntsville, Alabama was identified as a response that would provide a formal coordination of services to children at risk. Therefore, the task force in partnership with St. Luke Hospitals and St. Luke Foundation began writing grants to create the first Children’s Advocacy Center in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. In 1992, under the leadership of Vickie Henderson the Community Pediatric Clinic received grant funding to develop the Children’s Advocacy Center. In 1994, the Community Pediatric Clinic evolved into the Northern Kentucky Children’s Advocacy Center of St. Luke Hospital providing services in Southgate, Kentucky. In 1995, the Center was moved to Bellevue, Kentucky and housed with the St. Luke Pediatric Center.

Additionally, NKYCAC was the first Children’s Advocacy Center in Kentucky to become a full member of the National Children’s Alliance (NCA) and in 2004 was the first center in Kentucky to receive accreditation from the NCA. The Center has continued to achieve re-accreditation every five years with our most current accreditation in 2020.

In 2005, NKYCAC and the St. Luke Community Foundation began collaborating to raise funds to build a new facility on the grounds of St. Luke West in Florence Kentucky. Through the support of St. Luke Community Foundation and the cities of Florence and Ft. Thomas, Community Block Grants were secured, allowing NKYCAC begin building a new facility.

In the fall of 2008, St. Luke Hospitals joined with St. Elizabeth Medical Center to form the St. Elizabeth Healthcare. It was at that time that NKYCAC separated from St. Luke Hospitals and joined forces with the St. Luke Community Foundation – which was later to be known as the Community Foundation of Northern Kentucky. NKYCAC opened their doors to a brand-new child focused state-of-the-art facility in Florence, Kentucky becoming the first free standing children’s advocacy center to be built in the state.

In 2016, the Community Foundation of Northern Kentucky dissolved and NKYCAC became an independent organization. NKYCAC continues to work as a nonprofit organization providing services to children, families, multidisciplinary team members, and the community.

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