National Children's Alliance Recognizes Outstanding Leaders in the Children's Advocacy Center Movement

Monday, June 2, 2014

Annual Awards Presented at the 2014 National Children’s Alliance Leadership Conference


National Children's Alliance
Washington, D.C.

On Sunday, June 1, National Children’s Alliance presented six awards to outstanding leaders and supporters of the Children’s Advocacy Center Movement. These exemplary individuals and associations have each demonstrated a passion for this important cause through professional and/or volunteer support. The award recipients, who represent communities and organizations across the country, received their recognition at the Annual Awards Luncheon during the 2014 National Children’s Alliance Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. (June 1-4, 2014).

“We are proud to present these individuals with our organization’s highest forms of recognition for their important work on behalf of child victims of abuse around the country. Each of these individuals has greatly contributed to the work of the children’s advocacy center movement, and we thank them for their extraordinary commitments,” remarked Teresa Huizar, Executive Director of National Children’s Alliance.

2014 National Children’s Alliance Leadership Award recipients:

Volunteer Leadership Individual Award presented to Glen Fulton
This award recognizes an individual volunteer who has demonstrated perseverance and dedication to a local Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC); through the recipient’s efforts, the viability of the CAC has been appreciably affected. Mr. Fulton received this year’s honor as a result of his dedication to the children’s advocacy center movement in the state of Montana. Specifically, Mr. Fulton was instrumental in the development of the Flathead County Multidisciplinary Team and the Flathead County Children’s Advocacy Center, which is an accredited member of National Children’s Alliance. Mr. Fulton’s efforts also contributed to the establishment of the Montana Chapter of National Children’s Alliance (the Montana Children’s Alliance). As a result of Mr. Fulton’s dedication, community influence, and network, child victims of abuse in the Flathead area continue to receive the services they need for hope and healing, and abuse offenders are held accountable.

Volunteer Leadership Group Award presented to Justice for Children
This award recognizes a volunteer group that has demonstrated perseverance and dedication to a local Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC); through this group’s efforts, the viability of the CAC has been appreciably affected. Established in 2009, Justice for Children is comprised of well-established champions and active members of the community who have taken a sincere interest in the important work of the Children’s Justice Center, a National Children’s Alliance accredited Children’s Advocacy Center. The mission of this dedicated group of volunteers is to increase community awareness of the Center and provide public donation support to strengthen the abuse intervention and prevention services provided by the organization. With little funding available to hire a full time staff person dedicated to development, the Children’s Justice Center relies heavily on the support of Justice for Children, and would not be able to continue providing necessary services to child victims of abuse without this vital support.

Horowitz-Barker Professional Leadership Award presented to Jane Braun
This award recognizes a professional who has demonstrated perseverance and dedication to a local Children’s Advocacy Center or to the Children's Advocacy Center movement through his or her professional activities. Through the nominee’s efforts, the establishment and/or success of a Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) has been ensured. As described by her award nominator, Billie Larkin, Executive Director of the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Illinois, Ms. Braun is a “fiery ball of energy who doesn’t understand defeat.” Having worked within the children’s advocacy center movement for a number of years, Ms. Braun has been a leader in many ways, including advancements in training for suburban and urban children’s advocacy centers, as well as oversight for medical peer review and journal calls. Ms. Braun is an early innovator for the movement and no doubt will her passionate dedication continue to positively impact the services available to child victims of abuse.

Outstanding Chapter Leader Award presented to Jan Lutz
This award recognizes a professional who has demonstrated perseverance and dedication to an NCA Chapter of Children’s Advocacy Centers through his or her professional activities. Through the recipient’s efforts, the establishment and/or success of a Chapter of CACs has been ensured. During her time with the Indiana Chapter of the National Children’s Alliance, Ms. Lutz has developed many statewide initiatives for Children’s Advocacy Centers that have helped to raise awareness of issues surrounding child abuse and neglect, as well as the important role these centers play in the intervention and prevention of abuse. Ms. Lutz has also successfully introduced and delivered various National Children’s Alliance developed initiatives in the state of Indiana by working closely with Children’s Advocacy Centers across the state. In her role at the State Chapter level, Ms. Lutz has shown incredible dedication towards assisting with the development of Children’s Advocacy Centers not only in Indiana, but in neighboring states as well, increasing the reach of the industry and ultimately helping more child victims of abuse find the hope and healing they deserve.

Bud Cramer Award presented to Nelson David Diaz
This award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated commitment and dedication to children through extraordinary promotion of the Children’s Advocacy Center model. The recipients of this award have moved the field forward through vision, leadership, and the ability to reach and motivate great numbers of people. Since 2007, Mr. Diaz has served on the board of directors for Kristi House, a National Children’s Alliance accredited children’s advocacy center. His dedication to not only the organization, but to issues surrounding child abuse and neglect, have had a lasting impact on child victims, especially those exposed to commercial sexual exploitation in the state of Florida. Mr. Diaz not only showed his support as a leader with Kristi House, but also prepared a strategy pushing for Safe Harbor legislation for Florida’s commercially sexually exploited children. After two years of unsuccessful battling with the state legislature, Mr. Diaz finally achieved his goal and the bill was unanimously passed in June 2012. As a result of Mr. Diaz’s tireless efforts, Florida’s child victims exposed to commercial sexual exploitation are no longer overlooked and there is hope for their futures.

Volunteer Leadership Youth Award presented to Jessica Downes
This is the first year of the National Children’s Alliance Volunteer Leadership Youth Award, which recognizes a young person’s extraordinary commitment to the children’s advocacy center movement. The recipient of this award demonstrates outstanding dedication through volunteerism, community outreach, and general support of children’s advocacy centers and children in need. This year’s recipient, Jessica Downes, has been volunteering with Bright Tomorrows Children’s Advocacy Center in Pocatello, Idaho since the age of 10. For the past six years she volunteered her time and talents to the organization, most notably her artistic expertise. Jessica has beautified the Bright Tomorrow’s building by painting various murals that are designed to contribute to the child friendly atmosphere of the Children’s Advocacy Center model. She has also spread the word of her efforts, inadvertently educating others about what a children’s Advocacy Center is and the important elements it contributes to a community. Jessica leads by example and gives selflessly of her time and talents.

For more information about National Children’s Alliance and the 2014 National Children’s Alliance Leadership Conference, visit www.nationalchildrensalliance.org.

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National Children’s Alliance is the national association and accrediting body for the over 770 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 put 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.