National Children’s Alliance recognizes the Child Advocacy Center of Northern New York for its delivery of high quality and effective services to child abuse victims through accreditation.

Watertown, NY, 11/10/11 – The Child Advocacy Center of Northern New York, an umbrella program of the Victims Assistance Center of Jefferson County, Inc., has been awarded accreditation by National Children’s Alliance following an extensive application and site review process. As the accrediting agency for Children’s Advocacy Centers (CAC) across the country, 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.

The Child Advocacy Center of Northern New York has been fully operational for four years. While we primarily serve child victims of sexual/physical abuse and their non-offending family members in Jefferson County, we can also assist victims in other counties that are geographically close enough to the Center to receive services. IN 2009 & 2010 we helped 190 children and their families in Jefferson County. Our CAC is the only one of its kind within a seventy mile radius of Watertown, NY.

As an Accredited Member of National Children’s Alliance, Child Advocacy Center of Northern New York is dedicated to providing comprehensive, coordinated and compassionate services to victims of child abuse at a single point of contact to reduce re-traumatization of the child by multiple interviews at different locations.

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. National Children’s Alliance updated these standards in 2010 to reflect the most recent evidence –based practices in the field of child abuse intervention and prevention. According to these standards, 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.

“As an organization/team of individuals dedicated to responding to child abuse, we recognize the importance of accreditation from National Children’s Alliance and supporting the Multidisciplinary Team approach. Accreditation not only validates our organization’s proven effective approach to responding to allegations of child abuse, but also provides consistency across the child advocacy center movement as a whole. We are also happy to announce that our CAC was certified as a Tier 1 CAC by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services in May, 2011. We are recognized at both state and national levels as a center of excellence and Best Practices in providing services to child victims of sexual abuse and their non-offending family members,” said Elaina F. Marra, Executive Director of the Victims Assistance Center of Jefferson County, Inc.

“The CAC of Northern New York and its umbrella organization, the Victims Assistance Center of Northern New York, are to be commended for its excellent work serving 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,” remarked Teresa Huizar, Executive Director of National Children’s Alliance.