Cecil County child advocacy center earns re-accreditation from National Children’s Alliance

National Children’s Alliance recognizes Cecil County Child Advocacy Center for its ongoing delivery of high quality and effective services to child abuse victims through accreditation

The Cecil County Child Advocacy Center has been awarded a  five year re-accreditation by National Children’s Alliance — the accrediting agency for Children’s Advocacy Centers (CAC) .  Accredited members must utilize a functioning and effective Multidisciplinary Team approach to work collaboratively in child abuse investigation, prosecution, and treatment.  Also considered are cultural competency and diversity, forensic interviews, victim support and advocacy, medical evaluation, therapeutic intervention, and child focused setting standards.

Cecil County developed the CAC model in 1999 and became fully accredited in 2006.  An average of 225 children are served at the CAC in a year.  The Center recently added on-site medical services, a crucial component in the child advocacy center model

The achievement of re-accreditation is a direct result of the tremendous cooperative efforts by the Cecil County Government, the Cecil County Sheriff’s Office, the Cecil County State’s Attorney’s Office, Union Hospital, Elkton Police Department, Upper Bay Counseling and Support Services, and the Cecil County Department of Social Services.

“As a team of individuals dedicated to responding to child abuse, we recognize the importance of maintaining accredited status from National Children’s Alliance.  Re-accreditation not only validates our organization’s dedication to child abuse intervention and prevention, but also demonstrates the hard work and commitment of our community partners,” said Nicholas Ricciuti, director Cecil County Department of Social Services.

“The Cecil County Child Advocacy Center is to be commended for its continued commitment to effectively serve victims of child abuse.  By requiring Accredited Centers to undergo re-accreditation every five years, we ensure that evidence-based practices are being implemented and the highest quality of service is being provided,” remarked Teresa Huizar, Executive Director of National Children’s Alliance.

The Cecil County Child Advocacy Center is a child-friendly facility designed to minimize the number of interviews a child who has experienced abuse must endure.  A team approach is utilized and includes professionals from law enforcement, child protective services, a specialized prosecutor, medical staff, as well as a children’s therapist and a family advocate.  Specialized groups are held to support and educate the non-offending caregivers.  Referrals are made to connect families with available resources.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month.  Preventing child abuse is everyone’s responsibility.  If you suspect something, say something, call 410-996-0100 (option 3) after hours: 410-996-5350.

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National Children’s Alliance is a national association, dedicated to helping local communities respond to allegations of child abuse in ways that are effective and efficient and put the needs of the child victims of abuse first.  As the accrediting  body for the over 700 Child Advocacy Centers around the country, National Children’s Alliance provides training, financial support, technical assistance, leadership, national advocacy and access to current research findings on a national level to children’s advocacy centers around the country as well as numerous developing centers, multidisciplinary teams and child abuse professionals.  As the national authority on multidisciplinary approaches to supporting child victims of abuse, the purpose of National Children’s Alliance is to empower local communities to provide comprehensive, coordinated and compassionate services to victims of child abuse.  www.nationalchildrensalliance.org



Filed in: Cecil County, Child Welfare

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