This is the 2020 Annual Report of the National Children’s Alliance (NCA), whose mission is to assist Child Advocacy Centers (CACs) and their staffs meet their immediate needs and anticipate needs related to the public health crisis of the pandemic.
CACs are first responders for children who have been abused. NCA, along with the Chapters and Regional CACs, assist in building collaboration and commitment to protecting children. This Annual Report indicates that for the NCA this has been a year of innovation, adaptation, perseverance, and advocacy. 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 with CACs through NCA’s Thriving Kids Initiative. Although the NCA added CACs and members in 2020, it experienced losses in services delivered due to necessary public health restrictions; however, it addressed pandemic-related restrictions through teleservices and an emphasis on abuse prevention outreach. Early in the pandemic, NCA focused resources and training on helping CACs safely deliver services. NCA invited partner organizations, its members, and external experts to pool knowledge and quickly develop guidelines and best practices. Out of about 40 live webinars, 9 were related to COVID-19. A publicly accessible page to share resources for CACs, caregivers, and partners was established. In the first month after launching, it was viewed just over 18,000 times. Other NCA activities reported relate to policymakers support for CACs, in-depth conversations with innovative leaders, the piloting of a new survey in NCA’s Outcome Measurement System (OMS) program, and the increasing use of mental health services. A statement of NCA financial activities is provided.