Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2020, $2,500,000)
The purpose of the Victims of Child Abuse (VOCA) Act Training and Technical Assistance for Child Abuse Professionals program is to further the Department of Justice's mission by providing funding for the development and implementation of a model training and technical assistance program to improve the judicial system's handling of child abuse and neglect cases and enhance the expertise of child abuse professionals. The program will provide training opportunities and technical assistance for multidisciplinary teams of child abuse professionals at the state and local levels, and will develop resources and publications designed to enhance the coordinated multidisciplinary response to child abuse.
The National Children's Advocacy Center (NCAC) will provide training, technical assistance, and information resources that emphasize the implementation of developmentally appropriate, trauma-informed, and evidence-informed programs, policies, and practices; and by coordinating with other VOCA Act funded programs. NCAC proposes to provide in-person trainings such as Forensic Interviews at Trial: Preparation and Presentation Training, Conducting Child Abuse Investigations for Child Protective Services and Law Enforcement Training, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Training, Beyond the Basics: Building Capacities for Best Practice Forensic Interviewing Training, and Building Forensic Interviewing Skills. In addition, NCAC will deliver conference presentations for a variety of disciplines of child abuse response professionals and provide a distance learning option through a virtual training institute, live webinars, archived webinars, and online training. NCAC will also provide online mentoring and consultation groups for forensic interviewers and their supervisors. Resource development and services will include the Child Abuse Library Online, supported by telephone and e-mail technical assistance by experts from various disciplines of the multidisciplinary team and the development and dissemination of the following: fact sheets to promote the use of evidence-informed research on specific child abuse response topics, a self-administered forensic interview assessment instrument to improve skill development, and a toolkit for victim advocates working in a CAC.