National Children’s Alliance recognizes Monmouth County Child Advocacy Center for its ongoing delivery of high quality and effective services to child abuse victims

FREEHOLD, NJ –   The Monmouth County Child Advocacy Center has been awarded re-accreditation by National Children’s Alliance following an extensive application and site review process, announced Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

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 processevery five years to ensure that best practices are continually being applied. With accreditation standards being updated in 2010, re-accreditation this year reflects the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office commitment to providing evidence-based methods practice.

Since the doors to the CAC opened in April 2009, the facility has served more than 400 cases of child abuse each year and, unfortunately, the need continues to grow.  The CAC provides a safe haven for children who are victims of child abuse, where they can access medical care and mental health, social advocacy, and law enforcement services.

“As a 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 Office’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 Gramiccioni.

As an Accredited Member of National Children’s Alliance, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office 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 a child focused setting.

The Monmouth County CAC is based on a national model that represents the best standards of care for child victims and co-locates all professionals under one roof. Since its opening in April, 2009, over 2,000 children and their families have been seen in the “child-friendly” setting.

The national model experience has proved that having all of the necessary services under one roof results in a more coordinated response and investigation into reports of child abuse. It is also less traumatic for the children because they will have to travel to only one location to tell their story, greatly reducing their stress. Without a centralized facility, children travel to various agencies to access these services.

“The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office 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 Monmouth County Child Advocacy Center and the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, visit www.prosecutor.co.monmouth.nj.us