January 24, 2016 –The Carroll County Child Advocacy Center (CC-CAC) 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.

After opening the doors in 2013, the CC-CAC has conducted an average of 250 interviews a year for the counties of Carroll, Haralson, and Heard. They also have provided over 5000 adults with Darkness to Light’s Stewards of Children training which teaches adults how to prevent recognize and respond appropriately to child sexual abuse. Staff meet monthly with a multidisciplinary team to ensure that all of the children they have seen are receiving adequate services. As an Accredited Member of Nation Children’s Alliance, the CC-CAC is dedicated to providing comprehensive, coordinated and compassionate services to victims of child abuse.

The state of Georgia has 46 Child Advocacy Centers. Of those 46 centers, 43 are full members of Children’s Advocacy Centers of Georgia, two are associate centers and one is a developing center. Of the 43 centers who are full member centers, 29 are fully accredited with the National Children’s Alliance with the CC-CAC as its newest member.

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 a 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 team’s proven effective approach to responding to allegations of child abuse, but also provides consistency across the child advocacy center movement as a whole,” said Tracy O. Lewis-Martin, Director of the Carroll County Child Advocacy Center.

“The Carroll County Child Advocacy Center is 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.

CCCAC-Logo Color-02

Since the launch of the Carroll County Child Advocacy Center back in 2013, we have been striving to help children who have been alleged victims and/or witnesses of abuse begin their healing process by providing them with a safe place to share their stories in a trauma-focused, child-friendly way. While our mission statement and set-up of our center promote this commitment, we felt that our Logo didn’t quite do it justice. Though it has been a lengthy and stressful process, in December 2015 Michael Munoz assisted us in finalizing a logo which we feel represents who we are. At the CC-CAC, we plant seeds for children to be able to experience the childhood that they deserve so that one day they are able to become the adults they dreamed of becoming, and we are so excited to introduce to you our new logo that depicts this very message.

CAC REACHES TRAINING MILESTONE IN CARROLL COUNTY

The number of adults educated in preventing, recognizing, and responding appropriately to child sexual abuse continues to increase thanks to teachings from Carroll County’s Child Advocacy Center.

For last several years CC-CAC has been teaching the nationally-recognized and evidence-based Darkness to Light‘s Stewards of Children curriculum in an effort to end child sexual abuse.

The end of March 2015 marked a point when the percentage of adults in Carroll County educated with this training reached a ‘tipping point’ — meaning the CC-CAC has now trained 5% (around 4,200) of the adult population in Carroll County.

The tipping point comes from a theory that when 5% of a population changes their behavior a cultural shift is created and a momentum builds that, with continued work, will change societal values.

Carroll is only the fifth county in Georgia– and the largest by population– to be recognized as having the 5-percent trained and joins Haralson County who reached this distinction in October 2014.

Carroll County Child Advocacy Center Ribbon Cutting

On April 25, 2013 CC-CAC welcomed children of friends and board members to join our director, Tracy Lewis-Martin, and our forensic interviewer, Jill Hesterlee, in cutting our ribbon to officially open our center.