National Expert on Child Abuse Investigation and Trauma Treatment
Teresa Huizar is executive director of the Washington-based National Children’s Alliance. She has served at every level in the Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) movement, beginning her career in 1993 at a CAC in Colorado developing psychoeducation curricula. She has subsequently served in executive roles at the local center, the state chapter, the western regional center, and finally with the national organization, which she has led since 2008. Over the course of her career in the movement, she has successfully advocated for the passage of legislation and policy initiatives that help child victims of abuse at the local, state, and national levels.
Teresa is available for comment or to provide background on national and local stories about child abuse that relate to its investigation, the consequences of abuse, evidence-based treatments that heal the trauma of abuse, justice for abusers, and the community responses that help restore childhoods and families. She has appeared on national programs and been quoted in dozens of stories, including:
- The Wall Street Journal, February 14, 2012: “Delicate Questions of Abuse”
- NPR’s On Point with Tom Ashbrook, June 3, 2015: “Secrets And Realities Of US Child Sex Abuse”
- The Huffington Post, August 28, 2015: “When Child Sexual Abuse Is in the Public Eye, Don’t Lose Sight of the Children”
- NBC News, June 4, 2015: “Did Duggars Do the Right Thing When Son Confessed to Sex Abuse?”
- Staunton (Va.) News Leader, April 26, 2016, “Prey”
- USA Today, November 4, 2015: “Adrian Peterson Could Help Other Parents Learn”
- Sports Illustrated, July 2, 2012: “Light from the Darkness”
Under Teresa’s leadership, National Children’s Alliance is at the center of a nationwide movement of more than 800 CACs in communities in every state. NCA leads this movement as the national association and accrediting body for CACs. Through the development of the Standards for Accredited Members and the accreditation process, NCA ensures the highest standards of practice consistent with the latest research for its Accredited Members. As the federal advocate for CACs, NCA represents the CAC movement on Capitol Hill and to the federal agencies that support CACs. NCA also leads special projects to build and improve practice for CACs in the areas of promising mental health treatments, emerging issues in the field such as child sex trafficking and youth with sexual behavior problems, and tracking child outcomes through shared data.