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National Children's Alliance

2020 Award for Professional Innovation in Victim Services | National Crime Victims’ Service Awards
Watch the tribute video

National Children's Alliance | Award for Professional Innovation in Victim Services
Washington, DC

National Children’s Alliance (NCA) is a nonprofit membership organization that promotes and supports communities in providing a coordinated, comprehensive response to child victims of abuse through Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs) and multidisciplinary teams (MDTs). NCA has nearly 900 CAC members nationwide, delivering services to and protecting the rights of nearly 400,000 child victims annually. 

The initial focus of the CAC movement was a collaborative community response to allegations of child sexual abuse, with the goals of reducing the negative impact of the investigation on the child, while improving the ability of law enforcement and prosecutors to hold offenders accountable, and protecting the child from further abuse by that offender. 

Since the early days of the CAC movement, science and research has demonstrated the traumatic impact of abuse and has led to evidence-based, trauma-focused mental health treatment to reduce the negative effects. Subsequently in 2009, NCA leadership created and implemented the Thriving Kids Initiative with the goal of helping child victims recover from the trauma of abuse and go on to thrive. Implementation of the Thriving Kids Initiative has been and continues to be culture-changing for CACs and the communities they serve, and is a significant and enduring contribution to survivors, their families, and the victim services field. 

The initiative required visionary and focused leadership, and the forging of new collaborative partnerships and resources. Further, it has required training CACs’ staffs and MDTs to implement and embrace the expansion. 

Over the past 10 years, NCA has developed and executed strategies to support their goal of helping child victims heal and thrive. The most powerful strategy that raised the bar for child victim services was the implementation of an NCA Mental Health Standard in the 2017 Standards for Accredited Members, which requires CACs to provide access to trauma-focused, evidence-based mental health care for victims. This development is having positive impacts on child victims, their families, and communities, especially as we consider the often-high costs across a child’s life and to society when trauma is left untreated.

2020 National Crime Victims' Service Awards Tribute Video

Watch this video to learn more about the National Children’s Alliance, 2020 recipient of the Award for Professional Innovation in Victim Services.