At Emerald Coast Children's Advocacy Center

we’re building a better, healthier future by ending child abuse one child at a time.

Create a better future by healing hearts today.

Our mission

We seek to heal and prevent the trauma of childhood abuse and neglect by providing advocacy, child-friendly therapies, and a safe environment for kids to feel seen, heard, and understood. We restore lost innocence, provide hope, and make a difference in all the lives we touch.

Our vision

Our values

Our team

All of our caring, dedicated team members pour their hearts into restoring childhood for the children we serve. Each one of these groups play a critical role in helping ECCAC run effectively so we can heal today’s children and support them in becoming tomorrow’s leaders.

Over the years.

Emerald Coast Children's Advocacy Center was built through grassroots support from the communities we serve. The motivation for establishing a children's advocacy center that uses a multidisciplinary team response to child abuse in Okaloosa & Walton counties grew out of a high-profile case in the early 1990s.

Early 1990s

High-profile abuse case that occurred in a local childcare facility where the daycare owner victimized several little girls.

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Individuals from agencies involved in that case, led by the Department of Children & Families and the State Attorney's Office were convinced that there had to be a better response to abuse cases. Together, they formed a Child Abuse Task Force.

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The group recommended a children’s advocacy center be built, so ECCAC was formed. Individuals and corporations in the community responded by giving both their time and financial support.

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A Capital Campaign Kickoff was held in May, and there was a Groundbreaking Ceremony for the facility centrally located in Niceville, Florida, in April.

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Partner agencies signed a Memorandum of Agreement in December.

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In October, ECCAC opened its doors to a 13,000 SF child-friendly facility and implemented its advocacy program with little debt, thanks to the amazing community.

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The Center became a National Children's Alliance member in January, and NCA accreditation followed soon after.

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ECCAC implemented its mental health programs.

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ECCAC received its re-accreditation from NCA in June.

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Grassroots efforts began to establish the second Center in Defuniak Springs, Florida.

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ECCAC received its re-accreditation from NCA.

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Pierce Family Center opened its doors to provide services for children in Walton County.

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ECCAC implemented its prevention program–raising awareness and educating the communities on critical issues and techniques to prevent and/or report abuse and neglect.

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ECCAC receives re-accreditation from NCA.

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ECCAC CARES program is launched—a community-based initiative to reach a wider demographic of children who are subject to neglect and lack of resources.

Re-opened office in Fort Walton after fire/flood.

Fort Walton office re-named the Julie Sacco Porterfield Children's Advocacy Center.

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Our Impact


kids assisted in 2023


mental health counseling hours


of donations go directly back into our programs


students received prevention education

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