Talbot County Children’s Advocacy Center (TCCAC) has been awarded reaccreditation 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.
Accredited CACs must undergo a reaccreditation process every five years to ensure that best practices are continually being applied. With accreditation standards being updated in 2017, reaccreditation this year reflects Talbot County Children’s Advocacy Center’s commitment to providing evidence-based methods practice.
As an Accredited Member of National Children’s Alliance since 2007, Talbot County Children’s Advocacy Center provides comprehensive, coordinated and compassionate services to victims of child abuse. The Center opened in 2003 when a group of professionals and volunteers set out to find a more compassionate and effective way to bring services to children victimized by abuse. TCCAC operates in partnership with the Talbot County Department of Social Services, University of Maryland Shore Regional Health, Talbot County State’s Attorney’s Office, Talbot County Sheriff’s Office, Easton Police Department and other local law enforcement agencies, Maryland State Police, and others, including those in the health and mental health fields. Since July 2017, 375 forensic interviews have been conducted by specially trained professionals. Since July 2019, 1,458 family advocacy sessions have been provided to 793 children and adults. TCCAC also operates the Regional Medical Program, providing specialized medical services to children victimized by abuse in Talbot, Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s Counties.
Photo: Back Row: Justin Reibly (EPD), Milton Orellana (EPD), Norman Sova (EPD), Joseph Coale (TCSAO), Eric Mingos (MSP), Steve Hall (TCSO), Sam Faggert (TCSO). Front Row: Christine Abbatiello (CAC), Ellen Grunden (TCSAO), Dale Jafari (CAC Medical Director), Rebecca Hutchison (Mental Health), Kristyn Wheeler (TCDSS), Marcia Shapiro (UMMS), Marlene Gieraltowski (TCSO), Karen Greene (TCSAO), Lauren Krasko (CAC). Center Front: Ziva, therapy dog in training. Not Pictured: Linda Persaud (CAC), Justin Aita (TCSO), Heather Hanson (EPD), Erika Fenske (TCDSS), Karen Denny (UMMS), Leslie Collier (UMMS), Chelsea Endzel (TCSAO).
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. Reaccreditation not only validates our organization’s dedication to proven effective approaches of child abuse intervention and prevention, but also contributes to consistency across the Children’s Advocacy Center movement as a whole,” said Lauren Krasko, TCCAC Coordinator.
Talbot County Department of Social Services Director Linda Webb added, “The Talbot County Children’s Advocacy Center serves not just children and families from Talbot County, but those from all five of the Mid Shore counties through our Regional Medical Program. Reaccreditation communicates our commitment to excellence in serving the Mid Shore region.”
“Congratulations to TCCAC for their recent reaccreditation, reflective of the excellent service they provide,” commented University of Maryland Shore Regional Health President and CEO Ken Kozel. “University of Maryland Shore Regional Health is proud to partner with them on behalf of our community.”
“Talbot County Children’s 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 reaccreditation 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.
For more information about Talbot County Children’s Advocacy Center, visit www.talbotcac.org.
Talbot County Children’s Advocacy Center (TCCAC) provides an effective, collaborative, and multi-disciplinary response to the investigation of child abuse in the Mid-Shore Region. Led by the Talbot County Department of Social Services, in partnership with University of Maryland Shore Regional Health, TCCAC offers a neutral and child friendly environment for investigative team interviews, medical examinations, and advocacy services for abused children while pursuing the prosecution of offenders.
Follow your blurb with the following information about National Children’s Alliance:
National Children’s Alliance makes one big difference, one child and one voice at a time. As the nonprofit association and accrediting body providing comprehensive care through hundreds of Children’s Advocacy Centers nationwide, we unify and amplify our voices to command better outcomes. With a forward-thinking approach that stays at the forefront of every child’s future, we are the beginning of child abuse’s end. For more information, visit nationalchildrensalliance.org.