Family Crisis Center accredited again

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

The Mercer County Family Crisis Center/Children's Advocacy Center in Aledo has been awarded re-accreditation 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 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 the Family Crisis Center/Children's Advocacy Center's commitment to providing evidence-based methods practice.

The Family Crisis Center/Children's Advocacy Center has been an accredited member of the National Children's Alliance since 2000. The center provides services to approximately 25 child victims of sexual abuse each year. As an Accredited Member of National Children’s Alliance, the Mercer County Family Crisis Center/Children's Advocacy Center 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. Re-accreditation not only validates our organization’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,”  Mercer County Family Crisis Center Executive Director Marla Reynolds said. "For us to have national accreditation here in Mercer County is a very big deal,"

“The Family Crisis Center/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 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 National Children’s Alliance.

For more information about the Mercer County Family Crisis Center, call (309) 582-7233. The mission of the Mercer County Children’s Advocacy Center is to coordinate the timely, comprehensive, and multidisciplinary response to child sexual abuse and serious physical abuse allegations in a safe, neutral, and child-focused setting.

The Mercer County Children’s Advocacy Center will facilitate investigations, make referrals, and assist with any consequent legal proceedings in order to protect and support the children it serves as well as their non-offending family members.  The Children’s Advocacy Center will also assist in coordinating education and prevention services.