Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $2,500,000)
National Children's Alliance (NCA), is the not-for-profit membership organization that represents and supports the nation's Children's Advocacy Centers (CACs). A Children's Advocacy Center is a child-friendly facility in which law enforcement, child protection, prosecution, mental health, medical and victim advocacy professionals work together to investigate abuse, help children heal from abuse, and hold offenders accountable. NCA was first federally funded in 1993 to develop and sustain a national membership organization for Children's Advocacy Centers, multi-disciplinary teams, and related professionals. NCA also develops the standards for accreditation for CACs and state chapters (a formal association of local CACs within a state), and serves as the national accrediting body. NCA has administered more than $200 million in federal funds for this purpose. The populations to be served through this program are child victims of all forms of abuse and maltreatment and their families. Last year our national network of more than 924 CACs served more than 371,000 child victims of abuse, provided abuse prevention training to more than 2.2 million children and adults, and provided training and technical assistance to more than 70,000 multi-disciplinary team members working for, or closely with CACs. National Children's Alliance proposes to continue the success through this proposal for the OJJDP 2021 Victims of Child Abuse Act (VOCA) Children's Advocacy Center Membership & Accreditation program by: - Enhancing, maintaining, and publishing national standards for accreditation. - Developing and providing comprehensive training and technical assistance on the national standards for accreditation. - Providing intensive training and technical assistance for developing CACs, identified in partnership with OJJDP, so they can achieve accreditation and become fully functioning centers. - Tracking and addressing the challenges of CACs in meeting the national standards for accreditation. - Conducting site reviews of member organizations for accreditation purposes. - Addressing trends within the coordinated response to child maltreatment that pose challenges to service expansion to all children who need access to the services of an accredited CAC. This includes but is not limited to populations in rural and remote areas, such as American Indian and Native Alaskan communities where there are high incidences of child abuse and children's exposure to violence. National Children's Alliance is uniquely positioned to ensure that there is a strong and accessible national network of Children's Advocacy Centers empowered and prepared to respond effectively and compassionately to child victims of abuse and their families across the country.