Helping protect our most vulnerable voices.

The Metropolitan Children's Advocacy Center supports the small voices of suspected child abuse victims with comprehensive evaluations by a highly trained team of medical and mental health professionals. 

As a nationally accredited children's advocacy center, the Metropolitan CAC works in collaboration with law enforcement, child protective services, and the courts to ensure that children suspected of being sexually or physically abused receive the highest level of professional care.

Available funding to support the Metropolitan CAC's services does not cover the costs. Even as the state budget for such services continues to shrink, the need for a sound response to child abuse allegations increases. Thankfully, the Friends of the Metropolitan CAC is a charitable organization that raises funds and community awareness for the CAC.


Melanie Baker is a retired community health nurse. She worked for many years in continuing education for nurses and also in the area of HIV/AIDS Education and Prevention with the University of South Carolina School of Public Health, the US Department of Defense, and NIOSH (a division of CDC) before retiring. Since retiring she has served on many local boards (McKissick Museum, Jewish Family Services, Habitat for Humanity, and Auntie Karen Foundation) and been an active community volunteer. She received a Master’s degree in Community Health Nursing from the University of South Carolina. In her spare time she enjoys practicing yoga, traveling, and reading. She is looking forward to being a grandmother soon.


Dr. Eme Crawford is the Director of Communications and Learning, for the Women's Rights and Empowerment Network (WREN), a nonpartisan nonprofit that works to build a movement to advance the health, economic wellbeing and rights of South Carolina's women, girls and their families.  Eme oversees communications, branding, public education, and grassroots mobilization activities for WREN's 27,000 statewide member network.  In addition to serving on the Friends of the Met CAC, Eme also serves women and girls in her community through actively participating on the University of South Carolina Women’s and Gender Studies Partnership Council and as a host of the I Believe Anita Hill event, the longest consecutive remembrance of Professor Hill’s 1991 testimony.  Eme earned her Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition at the University of South Carolina. She taught rhetoric and composition and professional communication courses for eight years.






Deborah Phipps is a communication consultant who brought her drive for clarity and passion for the vulnerable to our board in April 2018. Currently serving as our Vice President, Deborah has been a supporter of the Met CAC  since her own children participated as volunteer interviewees in "Child First" trainings 15 years ago. "I'm excited to be part of ensuring the Met CAC continues to be the gold standard for ensuring children get the physical and emotional support they need to survive abuse as well as the best possible chance to experience the justice they deserve."




Rob Schaller is the director of communications for the University of South Carolina School of Law.  He has spent his professional career as a public servant, working first for the City of Columbia, and then at South Carolina ETV, before joining the university.  Rob graduated from Baylor University and moved to South Carolina shortly afterward. He received his masters in educational technology from USC.


© 2021 by The Friends of the Met CAC