In 1997 the original board of directors of the 501(c)(3) Children in Crisis in Dorchester County, now known as Dorchester Children’s Advocacy Center, met for the very first time. The original vision of the organization was to develop an improved protocol for serving children in the community as they enter the foster care system. The initial goals were to establish a comprehensive evaluation and treatment center, to increase the number and quality of foster care homes, and to establish a temporary safe haven for children taken into emergency protective custody. Through their research, the board of directors changed their initial vision and learned about the Children’s Advocacy Center Model. Instead of opening an emergency shelter for children brought into emergency protective custody, the board of directors determined the need for a Child Advocacy Center in Dorchester County. A child advocacy center helps provide out-patient, evidence-based treatment to child abuse and neglect victims along with other services necessary to aid in the investigation, prosecution, and treatment of child abuse.


  • Dorchester Children’s Advocacy Center opens doors for the first time in December


  • Dr. Kay W. Phillips is hired as DCAC Executive Director
  • Senator Mark Sanford signed Senate Bill 500, establishing Children’s Advocacy Centers as the preferred model for providing timely, coordinated, high-quality multidisciplinary services for children suspected of being abused in the state of South Carolina.


  • DCAC switches from part-time to full-time operation



  • DCAC received full national accreditation from the National Children’s Alliance






  • DCAC is awarded reaccreditation by the National Children’s Alliance



  • DCAC receives a $500,000 grant from the Medical Society of South Carolina as well as a matching grant proposal. If the Center could raise another $500,000, the Medical Society of South Carolina would gift another $500,000 to DCAC’s capital campaign from the Roper St. Francis Physicians Endowment.


  • DCAC opened its doors to a 6,000-square foot addition. The expansion includes a Medical Exam Suite to increase forensic medical exam capacity, increased Forensic Interview rooms with improved soundproofing technology, and increased Forensic Observation capacity for local law enforcement and child protective service investigative partners.


  • DCAC serves a record-breaking number of children, over 1,300 children served in 2016.


  • DCAC raises $500,000 for its Capital Campaign and receives a matching grant of $500,000 from the Roper St. Francis Physicians Endowment.


  • DCAC begins offering Risk Reduction through Family Therapy (RRFT)
  • DCAC finishes capital campaign renovations and opens its new Intake Hub and Parent-Child Interaction Therapy Suite.


  • DCAC is awarded reaccreditation by the National Children’s Alliance
  • DCAC executive director, Dr. Kay W. Phillips, is named the recipient of Trident United Way’s 2018 Nonprofit Leader of the Year Award.