Published On: Mon, Feb 25th, 2013

Heart to Heart awarded re-accreditation

The Heart To Heart Child Advocacy Center has been awarded re-accreditation by the 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 re-accreditation process every five years to ensure that best practices are continually being applied. With accreditation standards being updated in 2010, re-accreditation this year reflects Heart To Heart’s commitment to providing evidence-based methods practice. As an Accredited Member of National Children’s Alliance, Heart To Heart is dedicated to providing comprehensive, coordinated and compassionate service to victims of child abuse.

National children’s Alliance awards Accredited Membership based on a CAC’s compliance with ten 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.

“The re-accreditation process is long and involved and the application is very in-depth. As a team of individuals dedicated to responding to child abuse, we recognize the importance of maintaining Accredited status from the National Children’s Alliance. Re-accreditation not only validates our center’s dedication to proven effective approaches of  child abuse intervention and prevention, but also contributes to consistency across the child advocacy center movement as a whole,” said Lois Dunston, acting Program Supervisor of Heart To Heart. “The re-accreditation process could not have been completed without our staff working diligently as a team. We are proud to be an accredited center of the National Children’s Alliance and to be able to provide the children in our area with services that have been recognized as being of such a high level of excellence. It takes true teamwork to achieve something of this caliber and I commend our staff for giving their best during this process. The fact that we passed the re-accreditation with no improvements needed is a tribute to the dedication of our team”

“Heart To Heart 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 re-accreditation 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 the National Children’s Alliance.

Heart To Heart serves the children of Cherokee and the surrounding areas regardless of ethnicity, economic status, religious affiliation, or any other demographical status. The Center operates under the auspices of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and follows the motto “Children are to be seen, heard, and believed.”  The Heart To Heart Child Advocacy Center is located at 75 John Crowe Hill in Cherokee. (Phone: 828.554.6313)

The National Children’s Alliance is the national association and accrediting body for the over 750 children’s advocacy centers serving each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Dedicated to helping local communities respond to allegations of child abuse in ways that are effective and efficient, and puts the needs of child victims of abuse first, National Children’s Alliance provides support and advocacy to its accredited membership, as well as numerous developing centers, multidisciplinary teams and child abuse professionals around the country and the world. As the national authority on multidisciplinary approaches to supporting child victims of abuse, the purpose of National Children’s Alliance is to empower local communities to provide comprehensive, coordinated and compassionate services to victims of child abuse. Founded in 1998, National Children’s Alliance provides accreditation opportunities, financial assistance, training, technical assistance, research and education to communities, child abuse professionals and children’s advocacy centers throughout the United States in support of child abuse intervention, advocacy and prevention. www.nationalchildrensalliance.org

 – Heart to Heart Child Advocacy Center

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