National Children's Advocacy Center is Beacon of Hope for Child Abuse Victims

More than 800 Children's Advocacy Centers throughout the united States share a mission to model, promote, and deliver excellence in child abuse response and prevention.

The Centers facilitate a partnership between social services and the criminal justice system intended to create a model for training and practice that prevents further emotional distress, fear and trauma for young victims in the aftermath of abuse.

Linda Steele, Senior Trainer and Curriculum Chair for the National Children's Advocacy Center (NCAC) - the first Center of its kind in the country, revolutionizing our nation's response to child abuse for more than 250,000 victims each year - visited Kinship Center in February to see how this highly respected agency deals with children who have suffered abuse.

"It's wonderful to look at an organization like Kinship Center that brings a thouhtful and comprehensive approach to the aftermath of child abuse," said Steele, shown here (r) with Kinship Center Executive Director Carol Biddle. "Every child has the right to have a voice, and we want to give children the best opportunity to share their information in a sensitive and caring environment, so that we can have a system that offers intervention and support."

Based in Huntsville, Alabama, the NCAC has trained more than 54,000 child abuse professionals from all 50 states and 20 countries, pulling together law enforcement, criminal justice, child protective service, medical, and mental health workers onto one coordinated team.

Too often children with reported sexual or other abuse find themselves being interviewed again and again and having to repeat their story to many different people. The NCAC is a multidisciplinary approach to investigation that also gives a child access to treatment and the benefit of advocacy, says Steele. 

"All of us are looking at our unique piece of the puzzle," said Steele. "We have to be aware of the whole system. That's why I'm here at Kinship Center to learn more."

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