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OJJDP FY15 VOCA Children''s Advocacy Centers Membership and Accreditation Program

Award Information

Award #
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $750,000)

The Victims of Child Abuse (VOCA) Children's Advocacy Centers (CAC) Membership and Accreditation Program provides funding for membership and accreditation services for CACs, multidisciplinary teams and related professionals who provide a coordinated and comprehensive response to victims of child abuse and their families. This program is authorized by the Victims of Child Abuse Act pursuant to 42 U.S.C. section 13001 et seq.

The National Children’s Alliance (NCA) will provide membership and accreditation services to the target audience of children’s advocacy centers, multidisciplinary teams and related professionals who respond to child maltreatment. Through this program, NCA will continue to improve implementation of evidence-based treatments provided by children’s advocacy centers, with an emphasis on reaching underserved areas (rural, remote and tribal areas) and populations (American Indian, Alaska Native and Hispanic communities). In addition, NCA will elevate the quality of services in existing children’s advocacy centers through implementation of the newly revised National Standards for Accreditation and ensure consistent, high quality delivery of services across the national children’s advocacy center network through training, technical assistance and site reviews. CA/NCF

The National Children’s Alliance (NCA) is the nonprofit membership organization that represents and supports the nation’s Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs). NCA was first federally funded in 1993 to develop and sustain a national membership organization for CACs, multi-disciplinary teams, and related professionals. NCA also develops the standards for accreditation for CACs and state chapters, and serves as the national accrediting body. Using FY16 funds, NCA will implement various training and technical assistance activities and strategies to increase and support membership and accreditation. NCA will evaluate currently accredited CACs for compliance with the revised 2017 National Standards for Accreditation of CACs. These accreditation site reviews/assessments will increase the number of child victims of maltreatment receiving CAC services.

NCA will coordinate training and technical assistance, online resources and related activities with its VOCA partners, including the Regional CACs, the National Children's Advocacy Center and the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys to maximize the impact of VOCA funding on local communities, state chapter organizations and tribal communities. Specifically, NCA will devote critical resources and efforts toward the goal of reaching underserved (rural, remote, and tribal) areas and populations (American Indian, Alaska Native, and Hispanic communities) by providing targeted training and technical assistance to accredited CACs and to CACs that are preparing for accreditation, as well as by conducting site reviews of these CACs. These efforts will be guided by the gap analysis initiated with FY 2015 funds, and NCA will use FY 2016 continuation funds to complete a written report documenting the results and future recommendations. NCA will develop formal mechanisms for connecting tribal communities to local resources.

Finally, with FY 2016 funding, NCA will engage in the following specific training and technical assistance activities related to membership and accreditation services for CACs:
1) Disseminate the online Mental Health Standard Implementation Toolkit to over 800 CACs.
2) Provide intensive technical assistance to 15 State Chapters on their growth plans, particularly as it relates to underserved and tribal communities.
3) Publish the report "Children's Advocacy Center Services in Indian Country" with recommendations for increased access and service provision strategies.
4) Launch the "Multi-Disciplinary Team Training for Tribal Communities and Indian Country" as a pilot project with three tribal communities, and make recommended modifications based upon the communities' feedback in order to expand and enhance the training and bring it to scale.
5) Host a three-part webinar series highlighting innovative programs in rural communities, in Alaska Native Communities, and in culturally-adapted evidence-based mental health treatment in Indian Country.
6) Add up to 40 CACs to participate in the Outcome Measurement System implemented by NCA.
7) Conduct statewide, evidence-based assessment (EBA) trainings in three states to ensure that abused children have treatment specifically tailored to their care.
8) Train an additional three trainers in delivering EBA training in order to grow the cadre of approved trainers to six.
9) Publish and disseminate a number of products currently being developed by its Chapter Collaborative Workgroup, including a New CAC Director Orientation Toolkit.

This program furthers the Department's mission by providing grants and cooperative agreements for training and technical assistance to organizations that OJJDP designates.

The National Children’s Alliance will implement the OJJDP FY 2017 Victims of Child Abuse Act (VOCA) Children’s Advocacy Center Membership & Accreditation program by: 1) Elevating the quality of services in existing Children’s Advocacy Centers (CAC) through continued implementation of the 2017 National Standards for Accreditation for CACs; 2) Reviewing and revising the Chapter National Standards of Accreditation to incorporate leading practices that are research-informed; 3) Expanding access to CAC services for special populations of child victims; 4) Ensuring consistent, high quality service delivery across the national CAC network. The National Children’s Alliance will ensure that there is a strong and accessible national network of CACs empowered and prepared to respond effectively and compassionately to child victims of abuse and their families across the country. CA/NCF

Date Created: September 27, 2015