Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $1,250,000)
The OJJDP FY 2019 Victims of Child Abuse Act (VOCA) Regional Childrens Advocacy Centers (RCAC) program provides funding to support four regional centers one situated within each of the four U.S. Census regions that (1) help to build and establish multidisciplinary teams, local programs, and state chapter organizations that respond to child abuse and neglect and (2) deliver training and technical assistance that strengthen existing multidisciplinary teams, programs, and state chapter organizations. This program is authorized pursuant to the Victims of Child Abuse Act, 34 U.S.C. §20303.
The Northeast Regional Children's Advocacy Center, a project of the Philadelphia Children's Alliance, will provide high quality training, technical assistance, and relevant publications and resources. It will focus on developing new, and strengthening existing, multidisciplinary team (MDT) responses to child abuse and child sex-trafficking victims; increasing the number of communities using the Children's Advocacy Center (CAC) model; create strategies to support the development and expansion of MDTs and CACs in tribal communities and supporting non-tribal centers in developing culturally appropriate responses for American Indian children and families served and increasing knowledge in child-serving professionals and communities responding to Youth with Sexual Behavior Problems (YSBP) and their families. Trainings and technical assistance by NRCAC will increase understanding and help to develop strategies to meet and/or exceed best practices and national accreditation standards for CACs including, but not limited to: evidence-based medical, mental health and victim advocacy services; publications, technology, and social media exposure to provide information and resources to Chapters, CACs, and MDTs. These efforts will work towards the goal of creating and improving trauma-informed joint investigation and intervention strategies and services for communities when responding to child abuse victims and families.
Opportunities to gain skills and knowledge from national and regional trainings, site-specific technical assistance, and strategic partnerships with state networks will help develop MDTs, CACs, and state chapter organizations. Such partnerships will see an increase in the number of children and families that receive evidence-based treatment that reduces trauma to children. Success will be documented by the number of professionals who become trained, participant feedback, MDTs that achieve NCA member status, increased number of CACs sustaining NCA accreditation, programs that increase the number of children receiving critical medical services and mental health services, and number of users accessing web- and technology-based resources and information. Collaborative projects with VOCA partners, including other regional centers, will facilitate shared knowledge and resources in an effective and efficient manner. NRCAC will build on its successful track record of providing training, on-site technical assistance, and relevant resources to grow, develop, and sustain MDTs, CACs, and state chapters in the northeast region.