While the initial concept for the Southwest Family Advocacy Center began in the City of Buckeye, the three municipalities: Avondale, Goodyear, and Buckeye, entered into an intergovernmental agreement in June 2006, which provided for equal sharing of the advocacy center's start-up and operating costs. With a 2006 combined statistical approximation of over 1200 cases involving domestic violence, nearly 200 cases involving child crimes and more than 140 cases of adult sexual assault, the need for a multidisciplinary investigative center for victims in the Southwest Valley was evident. In 2013, Maricopa County Sheriff's Office became the fourth law enforcement agency to partner with the Southwest Family Advocacy Center by co-locating seven detectives at the center.
After moving fiscal management from Buckeye to Avondale in March 2007, the building improvements began. In January 2008, the Administrative Assistant and Director were hired and began preparations for multiple partners to co-locate at the advocacy center located in Goodyear, Arizona.
The Southwest Family Advocacy Center was the 17th Advocacy Center in the state of Arizona and the 6th Advocacy Center in Maricopa County (Mesa Center Against Family Violence, Childhelp Children’s Center of Arizona, Phoenix Family Advocacy Center, Glendale Advocacy Center and Scottsdale Family Advocacy Center).
Services provided include forensic interviews, medical exams and counseling services, as well as community education and prevention. The population served by the center includes child and adult victims and witnesses in cases of domestic violence, sexual assault, child physical and sexual abuse, elderly abuse, neglect, homicide and drug endangerment.
The multidisciplinary team members at the Southwest Family Advocacy Center who assist families with the investigative process include the Avondale, Buckeye and Goodyear Police Departments, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, the Department of Child Safety, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, Phoenix Children's Hospital and Honor Heath. Mental health services are provided on-site by highly trained therapists.