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A Process for Initiating Collaboration between Tribal Communities and Children's Advocacy Centers

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2019
10 pages

This resource details the “Listen and Learn” program, an effort to address the disparity in services available to Native American children and families involved in cases of child abuse.


The Southern Regional Children’s Advocacy Center (SRCAC), a project of the National Children’s Advocacy Center, and the Native American Children’s Alliance (NACA), an independent, non-profit organization committed to helping end child abuse and neglect in Indian Country, have been working together to implement “Listen and Learn” programs within the region served by SRCAC. The purpose of the Listen and Learn program is to introduce the concept of the CAC/MDT model to tribal communities that do not have access to or use those resources at the local level. Coupled with historical trauma, jurisdictional issues, and a lack of culturally sensitive resources, state, and federal agencies, as well as non-profit organizations, often struggle making a connection with tribal communities when attempting to serve Native American families in a collaborative manner. Although the Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC)/Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) model has been widely adopted throughout the United States as best practice in responding to child abuse, it has yet to be adopted in Indian Country. The first Listen and Learn program was piloted in Alabama in July 2017, in collaboration with the Poarch Creek Band of Indians and the Alabama ANCAC. A second Listen and Learn took place in May 2018, in Wyandotte, Oklahoma, and was a collaborative effort among SRCAC, NACA, Wyandotte, Quapaw and Seneca-Cayuga Nations, and the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Oklahoma (CACOK).


Date Published: May 1, 2019