Hope, Healing, and Justice

The Williamson County Children’s Advocacy Center represents the best of us. It is a devoted hub of hope and healing for abused children, and one of our county’s most effective legal partners
when it comes to defending our children. 

Williamson County District Attorney Shawn Dick

The Williamson County Children’s Advocacy Center recently went public with their Power of Us comprehensive campaign. This multi-million dollar effort will expand programs and physical space for the center, and build a stabilizing endowment that will provide hope for children and families who need it in the most vulnerable of times.

The campaign goal is $15.35 million and, as of January 13, they are 71 percent on the way to their goal. 

Kerrie and Charlie are at Colton’s Way in the Advocacy Center; named in memory of Colton Turner Pelfrey, whose abuse and death was a catalyst for great change in child protection laws and procedures. Photo by Christianna Bettis Photography


WCCAC has served Williamson County for 25 years and, in that time, more than 12,500 brave children have walked through the door to have courageous conversations about abuse. Every month, our county records approximately 450 new reports of child abuse or neglect, and that is only the one in ten who will disclose. Sadly, nearly half of those outcries come from parental abuse.

Fortunately, the WCCAC is able to bring law enforcement, DPS, prosecutors, medical staff, and a compassionate team of experts together, rapidly, in one place to meet every need, from the first forensic interview to the time when the child feels emotionally secure again. 

CEO Kerrie Stannell says, “WCCAC is the only organization in the County that has a proven successful model to serve children and their families in a comprehensive manner. Our County’s children need us when they are abused and neglected to ensure an end to the abuse and that perpetrators are justly prosecuted.”

Beyond their clinical and legal support, WCCAC also goes above and beyond with their Center Pet Dog, Charlie, who greets and gives children comfort; coping boxes with age appropriate items like fidgets, coloring, bubbles, bath bombs, succulents, and essential oils; Birthday Bags for children who may be celebrating a birthday while receiving services, and much more.


Kerrie never loses sight of the seriousness of her mission. But, she is also focused on making new inroads into community connections and creative fundraising. “Williamson County is a very giving place so we make every effort to keep up with so many other nonprofits. Everyone at the WCCAC loves what they do and it is my job to honor their commitment by having events and fundraisers they can be proud of and excited about,” Kerrie says. 

Among their signature events are annual Purse Bingo, which incorporates runway models from the law enforcement community, and  the Justice4Children clayshoot. “We try to keep that part of our mission fun,” she adds, “but our number one goal is to bring awareness to the cause because a hurt child is everyone’s business.” 

Among their many vocal advocates is Thomas Graham, past board member of the Travis County CAC, and current board member for the Texas Advocacy Project, a non-profit that provides legal services to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. “I remember, painfully,” he says, “the days 50 years ago I spent talking to lawyers and judges about the trauma inflicted upon our family by our step father. I wish we didn’t need the caring and counseling services of places like the Williamson County Children’s Advocacy Center, but unfortunately we do.”

Because of the Center

Thomas adds, “A caring community will protect and support its most vulnerable. Having a safe and secure place that allows children to have the most difficult conversation of their young lives is a blessing that will ensure they don’t have to relive the trauma they are already facing.”

His sentiments are manifest thanks to the professionals and volunteers at and working with the WCCAC who ensure: 

  • children only have to share intimate details of their abuse one time
  • more perpetrators are convicted
  • trauma therapy is made possible—at no cost to victims—for recovery and healing for their lifetime
  • each child is supported by a caring compassionate team of experts. 


Everyone associated with the WCCAC is aware that the county is growing at record rates, as is the corresponding rise in trauma cases. “The current space we have no longer is suitable for our essential services,” Kerrie says. “Our new building will provide ample and state-of-the-art space for forensic exams and interviews, case review meetings with investigative partners, trauma therapy, and confidential meetings on behalf of and with families.” 

She and her staff, with the board of directors invite everyone to join the chairs, advisors, and leadership council to help make this campaign successful. “Every gift counts,” Kerrie says, “No matter the size; outright gifts, or pledges that can be paid over time.” 

Contact Tiffany Sturman, Director of Community Engagement for information or to make a gift. 

Williamson County is All In

As pandemic conditions continue and supply chain shortages have increased the price of lumber and
other construction resources, the anticipated cost—just to build the new annex—has grown to $7,700,000.

WCCAC was obliged to double their fundraising efforts to complete expansion plans as originally designed.  The Board began approaching cities and donors to raise the additional required funds and also provide the interior furnishings and technology. Fortunately, many in Williamson County have stepped up to help.  

  • October 1, 2019, Commissioners Court approved appropriations of $5.5M for partial funding of the addition to existing space at the Inner Loop building. 
  • June 15, 2021, Commissioners Court unanimously approved $1.8M in CARES funding to offset the
    developing shortfall.
  • November 16, 2021, County Judge Bill Gravell moved to set aside $9,800,000 in combined Federal and County funds for the annex expansion and renovation of the original building. Commissioner Cook seconded.
  • November 2021, the Williamson County District Attorney pledged $100,000 and the City of Cedar Park contributed $100,000. The D.A. annually contributes $10,000 to programs and operations.
  • January 2022, the City of Georgetown contributed $125,000 and the City of Round Rock funded $40,000 for technology equipment. 

Commissioner Terry Cook: Why I support the WCCAC 

The existing CAC facility was fashioned as a house for a reason. These traumatized children need a safe, welcoming space; the original building even has a big front porch and swing. Last year the entire operation moved to a very institutionalized building in Round Rock as they cannot do their sensitive work in the middle of a construction project. With this final round of funding, the ground-breaking ceremony will occur on February 11 at 10am. This has been a long time coming.

No child in Williamson County should go through abuse alone—recovery and justice happen here.