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CHILD ADVOCACY CENTER OF WEST CENTRAL OHIO EARNS REACCREDITATION FROM NATIONAL CHILDREN’S ALLIANCE


National Children’s Alliance recognizes Child Advocacy Center of West Central Ohio for its ongoing delivery of high quality and effective services to child abuse victims through accreditation


December 2022 - The Child Advocacy Center of West Central Ohio (CACWCO) 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 the Child Advocacy Center of West Central Ohio’s commitment to providing evidence-based methods practice.


The Child Advocacy Center of West Central Ohio began in 2013 and has existed as an accredited CAC since 2015. The areas served are primarily Allen County and surrounding counties; however, clients are served by the CAC no matter where they reside. The demographics of individuals served are an average of 16% Black/African American, 4% Hispanic, 12% Multi-racial, and 92% Caucasian. Forensic interviewing is a means of gathering information from a victim or witness for use in a legal setting, such as a court hearing. It is a key component of many child protective services investigations and CAC services. CACWCO facilitates an average of 150 forensic interviews in a given year. All children who are suspected victims of child sexual abuse are entitled to a specialized medical evaluation, called a forensic medical exam. CACWCO facilitates an average of 45 forensic medical exams per year. As an Accredited Member of National Children’s Alliance, The Child Advocacy Center of West Central Ohio is dedicated to providing comprehensive, coordinated and compassionate services to victims of child abuse.


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 an organization/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 Chelsea Migura, CAC Coordinator of The Child Advocacy Center of West Central Ohio.


“The Child Advocacy Center of West Central Ohio 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 The Child Advocacy Center of West Central Ohio, visit https://www.crimevictimservices.org/cac.


The Child Advocacy Center of West Central Ohio’s mission is to provide a comprehensive community response to individuals and families affected by sexual abuse. CACWCO’s comprehensive community response is made possible by the partnerships among Allen County Children Services, Lima Police Department, Allen County Sheriff’s Office, Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth (SAFY), Crime Victim Services, Lima Memorial Health System, Mercy Health St. Rita’s Medical Center, and the Allen County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.


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.


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