From the Harford County Child Advocacy Center:
The Harford County Child Advocacy Center (CAC) has been awarded re-accreditation by the National Children’s Alliance following an extensive application and site review process. As the accrediting agency for Children’s Advocacy Centers across the country, the National Children’s Alliance awards various levels of accreditation and membership to centers responding to allegations of child abuse in ways that are effective and efficient, and put the needs of child victims of abuse first. Accreditation is the highest level of membership with National Children’s Alliance and denotes excellence in service provision.
Accredited CACs must undergo a re-accreditation process every five years to ensure that best practices are continually being applied. With accreditation standards being updated in 2010, reaccreditation this year reflects the Harford County CAC’s commitment to providing evidence-based methods practice.
The Harford County CAC first opened its doors over 20 years ago in August of 1993. The CAC is committed to the best practices in the investigation and intervention of child maltreatment, first attaining full membership (accreditation eligible) with the National Children’s Alliance in 1998 and maintaining Accredited status since. In 2015 the CAC handled 473 cases ranging from allegations of sexual child abuse, sexual assault, physical child abuse, to child neglect, as well as technology facilitated crimes against children in its capacity as a Maryland Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force Affiliate. As an Accredited Member of National Children’s Alliance, the Harford County CAC is dedicated to providing comprehensive, coordinated and compassionate services to victims of child abuse and their caregivers.
National Children’s Alliance awards Accredited Membership based on a CAC’s compliance with 10 national standards of accreditation to ensure effective, efficient and consistent delivery of services to child abuse victims. Accredited Members must utilize a functioning and effective Multidisciplinary Team approach to work collaboratively in child abuse investigation, prosecution, and treatment.
National Children’s Alliance also considers standards regarding a center’s cultural competency and diversity, forensic interviews, victim support and advocacy, medical evaluation, therapeutic intervention, and child focused setting.
“In furtherance of our dedicated response to allegations of child maltreatment, we highly value the continuation of our Accredited status with the National Children’s Alliance. Not only does reaccreditation validate all of our hard work, but the proven effectiveness the standards provide increases our capacity for the positive intervention and prevention of child abuse and adds consistency across the entire child advocacy center movement, leading to better results for children and families,” said Lieutenant Veto Mentzell, Program Director of the Harford County Child Advocacy Center.
“The Harford County Child Advocacy Center is to be commended for its continued commitment to effectively serve victims of child abuse. As the national association and accrediting body for Children’s Advocacy Centers across the country, our goal is to ensure that every victim of child abuse has access to high quality services that result from professional collaboration. 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.
For more information about the Harford County Child Advocacy Center, visit their website at www.harfordcac.org.