Act Now for CACs

Action Alert: Contact your elected officials in the U.S. House of Representatives and urge them to support funds to assist CACs. The deadline for them to sign the letter is Wednesday, March 29.

Reps. Ann Wagner (R-MO) and Jim Costa (D-CA) are circulating the Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) House funding letter, and we urge NCA members to reach out to their respective members of Congress and have them add their names in support of abused kids and families and the CACs that serve them.

This year’s FY24 funding letter is similar to the funding pushes we have done in the past. We are again pushing for $50 million in the FY24 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations bill. This is the same request level as the president’s FY22, FY23, and FY24 budgets for CACs. It is a $9 million increase over last year’s final appropriated funding and is needed to address the lingering impacts of Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) cuts and COVID! The CJS Subcommittee looks at these funding letters very closely and appreciates seeing programs that have widespread bipartisan congressional support like the support for the Victims of Child Abuse Act. In addition to pushing for increases in the Victims of Child Abuse Act, we are also pushing lawmakers to fund as much as possible for VOCA as we continue to work on shoring up and sustaining the VOCA program.

With this in mind, please take a few minutes to call or email your member of Congress in the U.S. House of Representatives and ask them to support CACs by signing the Costa/Wagner FY24 CAC funding letter. If you’ve never made one of these calls before, see the action steps below for a guide to what to say during the call. If you’d rather send an email message, scroll down to see our sample message. We also have a few talking points at the bottom of this page.

This funding letter is for the House. We’ll let you know as soon as our champions in the Senate are ready to circulate their own funding letter for senators to sign on to. If you have questions, contact Denise Edwards at

And remember, if your members of Congress support these urgent CAC needs, consider sending them a short thank-you note. You can find names and contact information for your elected officials online.

Action steps

Your guide to how to make a quick call to Congress to ensure a much-needed increase in federal funding to support CACs in the upcoming federal budget year

  • Please call the DC office of your ONE member of the House of Representatives and ask to speak with the legislative assistant to handles judiciary matters, which is the same person you spoke to on the VOCA Fix bill. If you don’t know your member, you can locate specific member information at on the “Find Your Representative” tab.
  • When you speak to the member or their aide, first, introduce yourself, give them the name of your CAC, tell them you are a constituent, and thank them for their past support of your CAC.
  • Then, tell them you are calling to ask them to sign the Wagner/Costa Dear Colleague letter funding the Victims of Child Abuse Act/CACs in the FY24 CJS budget.
  • Let them know how valuable this funding is to your center and how it helps abused kids.
  • Offer to email them the letter for their review. You can download a Word version of it from NCA’s website. Ask them to let you know of the member’s decision.
  • Let them know that the deadline to sign onto the letter is Wednesday, March 29, 2023.
  • Explain that if they have any questions and/or wish to add their names, they can speak with Molly Joseph at (Rep. Wagner’s staff), Kit Devine at (Rep. Costa’s staff).
  • Also, thank them for consistently supporting VOCA and the programs it funds, and ask them to urge their CJS colleagues to release as much from the Crime Victims Fund/VOCA as possible. These Crime Victim Fund dollars are critical and help CACs serve abused children and their families.
  • Thank them for their time and consideration of your request.

Email template to send to staffers in U.S. representative offices

Dear [Staffer – please use the person you emailed last year for the VOCA Fix. If you need help, reach out to me at]

My name is [Name] and I am [job title] with [CAC name] in your district. I want to first say thank you to both you and your boss for being such champions for abused children. Last year, we served [# of kids served in center or state] and we could only do that with your partnership and the critical funding you provided for the Victims of Child Abuse Act programs in the FY23 CJS budget. So let me again say thank you!

Of course, I know there is no rest for the weary and that the FY24 Approps season is already well underway. And similar to last year, Reps. Wagner and Cosa are currently circulating a DC encouraging Members to join them in pushing House CJS Appropriators to fund the Victims of Child Abuse Act programs at $50 million in the FY24 budget (which helps address many of the challenges CACs have experienced serving families during the pandemic and is the same request in the president’s FY22, FY23 and FY24 budgets). These critical dollars are intended to help CACs in daily operations to ensure that victims of child abuse have access to a CAC and services when they need them.

We thank you for your continued commitment to helping abused kids and urge you to sign the Costa/Wagner FY24 CAC funding letter. To sign onto this critical letter, contact Molly Joseph (Rep. Wagner) at or Kit Devine (Rep. Costa) at by COB on March 29.

Thank you for your consideration, support, and partnership in helping child abuse victims heal.

Talking points for the Victims of Child Abuse Act FY24 Funding Request – CACs

  • We urge the FY24 CJS bill to include $50 million for Victims of Child Abuse Act/CACs.
    • The president’s FY22, FY23 budgets proposed $50 million for VOCAA.
  • Current CAC staffing needs of $66.1M (does not include job losses due to VOCA cuts):
    • 252 CACs need at least one additional forensic interviewer (average salary of $50K); at least $12.6M is needed
    • 198 CACs need at least one additional staff to perform medical exams (average salary of $70K); $13.6M is needed
    • 378 CACs need at least one additional mental health therapist (average salary of $70K); $26.6M is needed
    • 333 CACs need at least one additional victim advocate (average salary of $40K); $13.3M is needed
    • These staffing needs do not capture the positions already included in CAC budgets that they cannot find someone to fill, which is concerning given that CACs currently have a turnover rate of almost 1 in 5 positions in the previous 12 months.
  • VOCA/CVF has made a significant difference for CACs! CACs went from $21M in FY14 to $200-$250M in FY20. And while the recent VOCA Fix is working, it is refilling the Fund’s reserves/resources more slowly than able to meet current need, meaning all the remaining reserves in the Fund have essentially been depleted. Because of this, state VOCA administrators are significantly cutting VOCA grant funding, even though the FY23 VOCA funding levels remained constant. (Many CACs are laying off staff because of the current VOCA cuts, with other states cutting programs by close to 40% and higher.) With VOCA still in such a critical refilling stage, increased dollars for VOCAA are crucial to ensuring kids have access to services.
  • Unmet needs:
    • Increased resources will help expand capacity to serve:
      • Additional 250,000 kids who were likely abused but did not access a CAC
      • Additional 80,000+ kids needing access to mental health services
      • Additional 600,000+ reported cases of abuse needing a forensic interview that did not get one
      • 75,000 kids in U.S. unserved counties without access to CAC services who may have been abused


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