Category Archive

Finding Our Voice

Emily Chittenden-LairdFebruary 9, 2017
Insights
I’m a millennial. It’s a characterization I balk against for all its negative connotations, but thanks to Mom, Dad, and 1983, I am one. And for all the challenging characteristics of millennials, there’s one I find particularly true of us on the older end of the spectrum—an ingrained belief that the bright-eyed, emerging from college versions of ourselves espoused: we were supposed to do our part in healing the world.I was lucky enough to...Continue

Why I Give

Henry ShiembobDecember 13, 2016
Insights
Some might say I don’t fit the profile. I don’t work at a Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC), or even in child welfare. I’m not a researcher connecting the dots between child abuse and a host of lifelong problems. I’m not a police officer or a prosecutor. I’m not a survivor of abuse. I’m not a therapist who helps survivors get their lives back.In other words, some might ask why I support the CAC movement when I’m not directly affect...Continue

Supporting "Grandfamilies"

Jim Ed ClaytonOctober 27, 2016
Insights
When grandparents raise their grandchildren, there is a new word for it.  It's called a "grandfamily." And the number of grandfamilies is on the rise—up over 30% in recent years. According to the latest census, 8% of children in Blount County, Ala., (where we operate our Children’s Advocacy Center, the Blount County Children’s Center) are being raised by their grandparents.  In some counties, the rate is as high as 19%. ...Continue

An Open Letter to Warriors

Katya EstesDecember 8, 2016
Personal Narratives
At 10 a.m., on July 12, 2016, I was given the chance to use my voice against something that has kept me silent for years. I testified against my grandfather, who took from me my innocence, dignity, and hope. On the stand that day, I wore several pieces of jewelry I received from victims, who endured traumatizing experiences but never had a chance at justice. The pieces symbolized strength, inspiration, and encouragement to show that abuse is a tr...Continue

The Coda of Abuse

Deondra BrownNovember 28, 2016
Personal Narratives
As a concert pianist, I have the opportunity to perform music I love for people all over the world. It is a dream. It is a joy beyond words. But don’t let my smile fool you. My journey has not been without great obstacles, some of which I will face the rest of my life.I would never have fathomed that my father could sexually abuse me. Nothing can prepare you for that breach of trust and the type of sorrow and loss that occurs. When I came forwa...Continue

Is Treatment a Four-Letter Word?

Jennifer ReddingNovember 10, 2016
Insights
Sometimes I wonder if treatment is considered a four-letter word. Over the past 11 years, I’ve partnered with the Harford County Children’s Advocacy Center here north of Baltimore, providing treatment onsite and offsite through a nonprofit agency as well as a private practice. One of the most difficult tasks is getting a child and his/her family in the door for treatment. From my perspective, I’ve watched hundreds of children heal from thei...Continue

Treatment Starts with Assessment. Assessment Starts with Engagement.

Jeffrey WherryNovember 3, 2016
Research Into Practice
NCA’s new Standards for Accredited Members call for an initial standardized mental health assessment and periodic re-assessment of children which serve to inform treatment. Every discussion about assessment (or screening) must be prefaced by a definition of what we are screening or assessing. Good practice dictates, and the Standards require, an assessment of other potential traumatic or abusive events, as well as resulting symptoms. Multiple t...Continue

Growing Mental Health Access Through Systems Change

Char RivetteOctober 21, 2016
Case Study
Six years ago, I sat in a room in Chicago with some of my staff, a funder, and a group of mental health providers, contemplating the dilemma we were facing and decided enough was enough. Since the opening of our Children’s Advocacy Center in 2001, we saw a persistent problem: there simply wasn’t enough mental health provider capacity to meet the needs of the children coming through ChicagoCAC for sexual abuse investigations.We had always had...Continue

Going "All In" While Enforcing the Law

dbetz@nca-online.orgOctober 18, 2016
Insights
What does it mean for law enforcement serving at Children’s Advocacy Centers to go “all in”?  This question comes up often when I’m meeting with or presenting to law enforcement officers (LEOs) or multidisciplinary teams (MDTs). We all have our roles in the MDT response to child abuse allegations, but what about going beyond our traditional roles?  What does it truly mean to conduct a collaborative, team investigation?  It...Continue

The Aftermath of Sextortion

David FinkelhorSeptember 29, 2016
Research Into Practice
Co-authored by Janis Wolak, Senior Researcher, University of New Hampshire Crimes Against Children Research CenterSextortion—threats to expose sexual images—can spark life-altering crises in the lives of young people. A new report we authored for University of New Hampshire’s Crimes against Children Research Center (CCRC) aims to shed some light on this new phenomenon and its consequences. Those consequences are far-reaching: One-in-fo...Continue