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Our Story

Child Abuse Education And Prevention Since 1998

The Children's Advocacy Center

In 1985, Huntsville District Attorney Bud Cramer recognized that the child abuse intervention system was flawed. Child victims of abuse were shuttled to numerous intervention and investigative agencies for multiple interviews. The system designed to protect children was actually traumatizing these child victims. Cramer saw there was a better way and began a movement to create children's advocacy centers.

A children's advocacy center combines the professionals and resources needed in child abuse cases under one child-friendly facility. With a children's advocacy center, children could receive medical exams without going to a crowded emergency room, could report what happened to them without going to a police station, and could receive the mental health counseling they needed to begin recovery.

Learn More about CACs

Established in 1998

Gulf Coast Kid’s House began as a concept in 1997 — that we could and should do better for children who suffered child abuse. Now retired Judge Marcie Goodman had heard of the child advocacy concept and worked with concerned community members to make it a reality in Escambia County. GCKH received a generous seed gift of $500,000 from Fred Levin. This funding set into motion an aggressive fundraising campaign led by Ms. Teri Levin that established the Gulf Coast Kid's House in 1998.

Gulf Coast Kid's House Drawing

The Marilyn Kapner Levin Center for Child Advocacy and Child Abuse Prevention

The Marilyn Kapner Levin Center for Child Advocacy and Child Abuse Prevention was established in 2004 to provide direct services to form a more collaborative response to child abuse cases so that we can improve case outcomes and minimize trauma to the children and families we serve.

In 2006, Gulf Coast Kid's House recognized that the community needed additional education regarding child abuse and child abuse prevention and established our prevention program.

Learn more about our efforts in child abuse prevention »


Adding the Allen R. Levin Family Advocacy and Education Wing

In 2014, GCKH expanded our facility to better meet the needs of children in our community. Teri Levin, who still serves on the board and is passionate about child welfare, provided the lead gift of $500,000 in our 2014 expansion campaign. The expansion was named in honor of Teri, her late husband, and her family: The Allen R. Levin Family Advocacy and Education wing. We are grateful for the continued support of the Levin Family and our community.

The partner agencies located within Gulf Coast Kid's House form a multidisciplinary team that responds to child sexual abuse cases, egregious physical abuse cases, and medical neglect cases in Escambia County. Since opening in 2004, Gulf Coast Kid's House has provided much-needed services to child victims of abuse and their families.