This is the 2020 Annual Report of the National Children’s Alliance (NCA), which is a professional membership organization with a mission to serve the needs of each child, principally through its support of Children’s Advocacy Centers (CAC), where abused children receive care through state CAC chapters.
The report’s summary statement is that “2020 was a year of challenges, innovation, advocacy, and hope.” The U.S. Justice Department’s Office for Victims of Crime honored NCA with the 2020 Award for Professional Innovation in Victim Services because of its work in strengthening mental health care within CACs though NCA’s Thriving Kids Initiative. This award was accepted in partnership with CAC and Chapter members. In an unprecedented 2020, CACs and members were added, but services were diminished due to necessary public health restrictions under the COVID-19 pandemic. Essential services were maintained, however, through teleservices and an urgent emphasis on abuse-prevention outreach. Early in the pandemic, NCA focused resources and training on helping CACs safely deliver services that included teleforensic interviews. telemedicine, and telemental health treatments. Of just over 40 live webinars, 9 were related to COVID-19. A publicly accessible page was developed to share resources for CACs, caregivers, and partners. In the first month the page was launched, it was viewed just over 18,000 times. In the fall of 2020, NCA received 470 applications for about $15 million in federal funding for State Chapters and CACs, the highest number in the last 10 years. NCA helped Chapters and CACs achieve long-awaited goals. NCA also piloted a new survey in its Outcome Measurement System (OMS). NCA collaborated with Baylor University and the University of Texas on a multi-year project to train clinicians to use evidence-based assessments to determine which children would benefit from mental health treatments.