One of the hardest—and most crucial—parts of a Children's Advocacy Center's job is to provide mental health care for abused children. Here's how Chicago Children's Advocacy Center tackled the issue head-on to shorten waitlists, sustainable fund the healing work, and triage clients to serve the ones who most need treatment first.
A ten-month-old girl is dead in West Virginia's most horrific abuse case in recent memory. In this op-ed, a W.V. artist asks fellow Mountaineers to join with West Virginia Child Advocacy Network and turn their anger into hope.
Police officers sometimes serve children as directors of Children's Advocacy Centers. Our Dave Betz did both for decades. Read his insights on how law enforcement fits into the work of CACs, and how officers serving at CACs can go "all in"—helping abused children even after the criminal case wraps up.
An estimated 4.5 million people worldwide are victims of forced sexual exploitation—potentially including millions of children. Here's how forensic data analysts, former CIA agents, tech companies, law enforcement, and nonprofits are working to free them.
Great news out of California! Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a new state law that treats sexually exploited children as victims instead of criminals. Law enforcement now must direct trafficked minors to social services instead of arrest.
Childhood trauma like abuse may accelerate cellular aging, causing premature aging and even early death. A team of researchers at the University of British Columbia in Canada found a correlation between traumatic childhood experiences and shorter telomeres, potentially leading to poor health outcomes. Telomeres are "caps" at the end of chromosomes that keeps genes from unraveling.
Honored to be working on this important project with our friends at Midwest Regional Children's Advocacy Center. It's early in the production period, but a training series on how Children's Advocacy Centers can help youth with sexual behavior problems and their communities is forthcoming.
Read our October 2016 Newsletter and see our vision for a safe October for all children. Plus: how we tell stories through data, the latest from our blog, and the great work of member serving children in West Virginia, Baltimore, and NYC.
In an age when virtually every teen and tween has the power to take and share images instantly, exploiters can extort children to do their bidding with the mere threat to expose sexts to family or peers. Learn how sextortion affects children in this new article from University of New Hampshire researchers David Finkelhor and Janis Wolak.
After 24 years spent healing children after the trauma of abuse, NCA's Michelle Miller knows that the best way to address trauma is to stay the course. Read a tale of two children—one whose treatment followed an evidence-based model, and one whose treatment course strayed—and how it affected their road to recovery.
Two men in Erin Merryn's family tried to steal her voice. Now she's dedicated her life to giving children a voice to protect themselves from sexual abuse and to bring abusers to justice. Read Erin's story on the CAC Voices blog and see how Erin's Law is empowering children and families to fight and overcome sexual abuse.
Children's Advocacy Center leaders serving urban populations are meeting in NYC at our Annual Urban Forum right now to discuss common issues facing these CACs as they serve large, diverse populations. Thanks to Safe Horizon for hosting our group and thanks to Kathleen for the great photos!
An estimated 10-20% of American children witness domestic violence each year. And in the classroom, the ripple effects on children who witness violence can affect all the other children.
Children's Advocacy Centers help children who have witnessed violence as well as families who have who have been victimized by both child abuse and domestic violence.
The suffering child victims of sex trafficking experience doesn't end with their rescue. Faiza Mathon-Mathieu of Ecpat-Usa takes to our blog to explain how CACs and ordinary people can support policies that help prevent trafficking, like ensuring authorities have the resources to go after buyers.
Children's Advocacy Centers help kids with mental health treatments that follow the science. Why is evidence-based practice so important? University of Minnesota mental health researcher Abi Gewirtz explains how they work for all children, and spell the difference between healing and failure.
Research from Urban Institute and Feeding America finds that in communities across America, children in desperate economic situations often find themselves vulnerable to sexual exploitation. It's not always for money—sometimes it's just for something to eat.
The Multidisciplinary teams (MDTs) that serve kids at CACs comprise experts in a variety of fields—police, mental health, CPS, prosecution, and others—collaboratively work to serve the child as a cohesive unit. But what about teams serving trafficking victims or commercially sexually exploited children (CSEC)? Children's Advocacy Center of Suffolk County leader Susan Goldfarb thinks through additional team members who may be needed to serve this population's special needs.
Longtime Children's Advocacy Center movement leader Cathy Crabtree pens a new post for the CAC Voices blog on renewal, sustaining the model that helps us help kids, and how our CACs age not so differently from ourselves.
We are proud to announce our brand-new blog, CAC Voices, featuring stories, insights, and practice from voices across the Children's Advocacy Center movement. Read our inaugural post from NCA Executive Director Teresa Huizar and check back for new posts often at www.nationalchildrensalliance.org/blog.
Kids who have experienced trauma like abuse and neglect often suffer in many different ways. In school, traumatized children can quickly fall behind unless teachers and administrators understand a child's trauma history and provide a trauma-informed educational strategy that looks beyond the child's behaviors to their causes. Fortunately, many schools are teaming up with social workers to do just that.
Children are exploited in communities throughout the country, and not only in the obvious places. While Los Angeles law enforcement agencies freed eight children in a sweep to rescue sex-trafficking victims, an even larger effort announced yesterday broke a major international sex trafficking ring in California's San Gabriel Valley, releasing 28 victims trafficked from the city lights of San Diego to Fresno in the heart of California's farming communities.
The trauma of abuse goes beyond pain. Researchers have found links between childhood abuse and early death in women.
The work of CACs healing the lives of children and families goes on long after the abuse investigation and even the therapy has ended. Read about the great work of Wynona's House Child Advocacy Center in Newark, N.J., helping kids get back to school by providing school supply-filled backpacks for families connected to the center.
Just hours before the Olympic torch is lit in Rio, tragic news from USA Gymnastics serves as a stark reminder of the human cost when a youth-serving organization fails to report abuse within its ranks.
Our member Children's Advocacy Centers collect over 50,000 surveys every year from the caregivers of children they serve and members of the teams that provide those children and families with healing, justice, and trust to overcome the abuse they suffered. Learn more about how CACs use this OMS data to prove, and improve, their work.