Mountain CAP Child Advocacy Center earns re-accreditation from National Children’s Alliance

BUCKHANNON — Mountain CAP Child Advocacy Center has been awarded re-accreditation by National Children’s Alliance following an extensive application and site review process. As the accrediting agency for Children’s Advocacy Centers 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.

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, re-accreditation this year reflects Mountain CAP Child Advocacy Center’s commitment to providing evidence-based methods practice.

The Child Advocacy Center serving Upshur and Lewis counties was once its own, individual 501(c)3 non-profit organization. In the early 2000s, Mountain CAP of WV adopted the CAC — henceforth, the Mountain CAP Child Advocacy Center. Since that time, there has been a great increase in the CAC’s capacity to serve our community. In 2008 for example, only 14 child victims of abuse and/or neglect were referred to our CAC for Forensic Interviews. Currently, we average 42 Forensic Interviews per year.

The Mountain CAP CAC became Nationally Accredited through the National Children’s Alliance in June of 2013. Since that time, we have been providing the following services regardless of ability to pay: Forensic interviewing; Medical forensic evaluations; Victim and non-offending caregiver support and advocacy; Case management and coordination; Case tracking; Multidisciplinary Investigative Team representation; West Virginia Crime Victim Fund application assistance; Prevention programs (Darkness to Light’s Stewards of Children training for adults and 2nd Step: Child Protection Unit for children); Community outreach and awareness; Partners in Prevention Team participation; and Mental health services. As an Accredited Member of National Children’s Alliance, Mountain CAP Child Advocacy Center is dedicated to providing comprehensive, coordinated and compassionate services to victims of child abuse.

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.

“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 proven effective approaches of child abuse intervention and prevention, but also contributes to consistency across the child advocacy center movement as a whole,” said Tracy Shroyer-Carlyle, Executive Director of Mountain CAP Child Advocacy Center.

“Mountain CAP 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.

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