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About CACI

The Children's Advocacy Centers of Illinois (CACI) is dedicated to the development and growth of Illinois' Children's Advocacy Centers. CACI accomplishes this by offering its members a cadre of services which are rooted in the not-for-profit organization's driving principles: leadership, education and collaboration.

Established in 1995, CACI is the network that coordinates and provides a comprehensive response to child abuse in Illinois. As the leading resource on child abuse issues, CACI stays abreast of the latest research and literature in the child abuse field, as well as the most child-friendly approaches in investigation and treatment of child abuse.

CACI is dedicated to the multidisciplinary, child advocacy approach and a coordinated, comprehensive response to child abuse. To that end, CACI offers discipline-specific trainings to its members throughout the year; CACI seeks opportunities to collaborate with partner agencies, such as the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and the Illinois Attorney General's Office, on education and public policy issues; and CACI guides its members on "best practices" in the field.

CACI is an accredited chapter of the National Children's Alliance. Accreditation standards include:

  • Organizational Capacity: CACI implements sound administrative practices in both programming and fiscal operations.
  • Membership: CACI works with its members to collect and provide vital statistical information. CACI provides services that support and encourage its members to meet and exceed the 10 standards required for their national accreditation.
  • Training and Technical Assistance: CACI provides training and program support to developing and existing Children's Advocacy Centers throughout Illinois.


Education & Training

  • Forensic Interviewing
  • Advocacy
  • Mental Health
  • Customized Multidisciplinary Team Training
  • Case Review
  • Building Resiliency on a MDT
  • Mentoring Opportunities
  • Discipline Specific Training for Allied Professionals on a MDT

Legislative Representation

  • Policy Development
  • Bill Monitoring

Organization Capacity Building

  • Board of Directors Training
  • Staff Development
  • Strategic Planning
  • Fund Development
  • Conflict Resolution

Technical Services

  • Protocol Development
  • Grant Writing
  • Policy and Procedure Development
  • Accreditation Application and Preparation
  • Children's Advocacy Center Development


Joan Pernecke - President

Former Chief of the Child Protection Division of the Juvenile Justice Bureau

Cook County

Jeffrey Brown - Vice-President

Assistant State's Attorney, Sex Crimes Unit - Animal Cruelty Prosecutor - Facility Dog Handler

Office of Will County State's Attorney James W. Glasgow

L. Kaye DeSelms Dent - Treasurer

Attorney At Law

Dent Law Office

Careyana M. Brenham, MD - Secretary

Professor, Department of Family & Community Medicine Residency Program Director

Southern Illinois University School of Medicine

Mike Williams - Past Interim President/ Past Treasurer


Champaign County Probation and Court Services

Michelle Mussman - Board Member

State Representative

56th District

Jo Poshard - Board Member


Poshard Foundation for Abused Children


Elizabeth "Beth" Johnstone - Board Member

Casey Bloodworth - Board Member

Assistant United State's Attorney - Southern District

United State's Department of Justice


Mary Beth Long - Board Member

Chris Tennyson - Board Member

Assistant Regional Superintendent of Schools

ROE #47

Meryl Paniak, MSW, JD - Board Member

Child Welfare Policy Consultant

Former DCFS Inspector General

Verleaner R. Lane, MA - Board Member

Project Coordinator

Project Child


Kim Mangiaracino

Executive Director

The Executive Director develops and implements organizational goals and objectives consistent with the mission and vision of CACI and its membership. Oversees all CACI services and activities.

(217) 299-3270


Michelle Hammitt

Office & NCA Grant Administrator

The Office & NCA Grant Administrator is the primary point of contact for the CACI office focusing on NCA grant application maintenance, meeting and conference logistics, website content, membership access and social media.

(217) 528-2224


Cara Vock

Director of Programs/Member Services


(815) 973-6777


Mike Burns

Statewide MDT Coordinator

The Statewide MDT Coordinator coordinates all training and serves as a resource regarding MDT issues, customized training, and Building Resiliency training.

(217) 670-9331


Jean Garner

Strategic Administrator/Data Manager

The Strategic Administrator/Data Manager is responsible for oversight of data management system, gap analysis, program outcome and evaluation, and is the point of contact for OMS.

(217) 528-2224


Michael Morgan

VOCA Program Monitor

VOCA Program Monitor serves as the contact for CACI for VOCA grant administration providing oversight, technical assistance, completing site visits and serves as the Civil Rights Officer for CACI.

(217) 622-6933


Kathy Murphy

VOCA Fiscal Monitor

VOCA Fiscal Monitor serves as the contact for CACI for monthly financial reporting, technical assistance and completing site visits.

(217) 544-2120


Ya'Shika Reed

Training and Prevention Specialist

The Training and Prevention Specialist will assist in developing Discipline Specific Training Programs including curriculum development, implementation, and evaluation. 

Kenneth Matthews

Chief Financial Officer

The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) defines the process and implement the infrastructure/systems needed to support substantial growth. The CFO builds and manages effective and streamlined administrative/financial systems, including financial, accounting, and information technology.


The Children's Advocacy Centers of Illinois is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and an accredited chapter member of the National Children's Alliance

Children's Advocacy Centers of Illinois 400 S. 9th St., Suite 101 • Springfield, IL 62701 • 217.528.2224