Annual Report 2020:
The Power of Us

A message from the director

Dear Friends,

The Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) movement thrives on hope. If you had the slightest doubt about that, last year proved it. Faced with the most difficult year in the history of our field, CACs and State Chapters across the country met the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic head-on. And at National Children’s Alliance (NCA), our task was to not just help CAC and Chapter leaders and staff meet their immediate needs but also—in the midst of a public health crisis the likes of which none of us had ever seen before—anticipate what they would need next. It was at times stressful, frustrating, worrying work. But it was always hopeful work. I did not for one moment lose faith in our members, in NCA staff, or in our partners. I have seen firsthand how devoted they are to helping kids heal and thrive.

CACs are first responders for children who have been abused. NCA, along with the Chapters and Regional CACs, stand behind CACs, ready to assist—as you’d expect in a field built on a foundation of collaboration and of a commitment to protecting children. This is not a profession for those who are easily discouraged, and so we faced up to everything 2020 had to throw at us and pushed forward. We will not be deterred in our fight to end child abuse.

It has been a year of innovation, of adaptation, of perseverance, and of advocacy. We have collaborated, consoled, inspired, and cheered each other on. And we’ll keep doing it throughout 2021, and beyond. More than ever, kids need the hope for a brighter future that CACs can provide. We’ll be there for them.

Thank you.

Warm regards,

Teresa Huizar
Executive Director
National Children’s Alliance

The difference we made

2020 was a year of challenges, innovation, advocacy, and hope. But National Children’s Alliance and the Children’s Advocacy Center movement are built on collaboration, and we worked together to make sure kids got the care they need to heal from abuse.



Award-winning innovation for kids

The Office for Victims of Crime honored NCA with the 2020 Award for Professional Innovation in Victim Services because of our work strengthening mental health care within CACs through our Thriving Kids Initiative. We accepted the award in partnership with our CAC and Chapter members, who worked with us to make this system transformation possible. And, as always, children are the real heroes for bravely sharing their stories, seeking help, and engaging in treatment.



A snapshot of a challenging year

Every year, more Children’s Advocacy Centers open, more CACs join National Children’s Alliance, and more children receive services from CACs. Yet in an unprecedented 2020, we added CACs and members—then saw losses in services delivered due to necessary public health restrictions, but ultimately held the line through teleservices and an urgent emphasis on abuse prevention outreach.

Photo of a mom and daughter by Christian Mukala from Unsplash

Bright spots

We can’t fit everything we did in one report, but here are the highlights—from our sprint to produce the guidance and resources our members needed to operate safely during a pandemic to the award we won for a decade of progress in strengthening mental health care services in CACs.

Smiling Black teenager; photo by Cottonbro from Pexels

Five years later: Completing the plan

Take a quick look at our Strategic Plan 2020—a concerted effort to achieve the goals that our membership set for us five years ago.

2020 by the numbers


Children's Advocacy Centers nationwide


Children helped by CACs


People trained in child abuse prevention by CACs

24 new CACs joining the movement despite historic headwinds of COVID-19

36 newly accredited CACs meeting our field’s highest standards of practice

1,000,000+ more people provided with child abuse prevention services, such as training, education, or other services than the year before

Full national, regional, and state CAC service statistics are available on our CAC Statistics page

How the pandemic affected kids

Almost every year, NCA members serve more children—except in 2020, as a result of the pandemic. Reports of child abuse dropped in 2020 because kids were out of school or attending school virtually—away from the teachers, counselors, and other professionals who together make two-thirds of all child abuse reports. The effect was particularly noticeable in the first half of the year.


Number of children served at CACs 2019 2020 Change
January to June 192,367 160,236 -32,131 (-17%)
July to December 178,683 178,239 -444 (0%)
Yearly total 371,060 338,475 -32,585 (-9%)


The drop in children seen in the first half of 2020 doesn’t mean that abuse stopped, just that it wasn’t seen and reported. CACs also had to adapt on the fly to implement new health and safety guidelines, which by themselves would have put a dent in the number of kids they could see in a day. Still, they worked tirelessly to serve as many children and families as possible; by the second half of the year, our members had caught up to service levels roughly the same as 2019!

Teleservices: the path forward

One tool CACs used to close the gap in delivering services to children during the second half of 2020: teleservices. Whether reaching children for therapy appointments, forensic interviews, victim advocacy appointments, or any other needs children and families have during the challenging period of addressing abuse, offering these services virtually made it safe and seamless for kids, with huge potential to help kids long after the pandemic.

The preliminary results from our most recent NCA Member Census show how many CACs that offered teleservices in 2020 did so as a result of the pandemic:


Service type CACs offering these
as teleservices
Of those, which switched to
teleservices due to pandemic
Mental health 71% 95%
Victim advocacy 52% 79%
Forensic interviews 16% 97%
Medical services 7% 73%


Children referred to or receiving mental health services through CACs in 2020


The percent of all children in the United States who now have access to CAC services if they need them


Number of live webinars we offered in one year through NCA Engage, our online learning management system

2020 highlights

1. An emergency, a quick pivot, a community response

Early in the pandemic, NCA focused resources and training on helping CACs safely deliver services. We produced health and safety guidance and extensive information on teleservices (teleforensic interviews, telemedicine, and telemental health treatments). NCA invited our partner organizations, our members, and external experts to pool our knowledge and quickly develop guidelines and best practices. Of our more than 40 live webinars, nine were related to COVID-19. We created a publicly accessible page to share resources for CACs, caregivers, and partners. In the first month the page was launched it was viewed more than 18,000 times.

COVID-19 Resource Page (screenshot)

2. Policymakers support CACs

In the fall of 2020, we received 470 applications—the highest number in the last 10 years—for some $15 million in federal funding for State Chapters and CACs. In addition to our traditional grant categories, we included categories to address pandemic-related needs such as improvement in telemental health services. The federal budget for fiscal year 2020 resulted in $4.5 million more for the Victim of Child Abuse Act that helps fund our movement. We also helped Chapters and CACs achieve long-awaited goals. The Louisiana state government for the first time ever appropriated funding for CACs at a time when other state budget line items were being cut. And after years of trying, California adopted defining legislation that includes immunity from civil liability for CAC personnel. Eight states eliminated or extended statutes of limitation.

Photo of the U.S. Capitol by Marcos Bais from Pexels

3. In-depth conversations with innovative leaders

Our One in Ten podcast published 21 episodes in 2020, averaging nearly 1,000 listeners per episode and peaking in the top-25 American social science podcasts on Apple. It now has its own Facebook page. Since the new year, our conversations with some of the brightest minds working to end child abuse have reached audiences more than 30,000 times. Be sure to check out “The Hidden Cost of Resilience” with Dr. Ernestine Briggs-King—our most popular episode of all time.

One in Ten podcast logo

4. Kids open up about CAC experiences

We piloted a new survey in our Outcome Measurement System (OMS) program. The Youth Feedback Survey, available in English and Spanish, asks youths aged 10-17 about their experiences at a CAC. During the pilot period, 743 youth from 27 CACs completed the survey. Overall, kids indicated that they felt safe and heard at CACs. And, compared to caregiver and MDT member surveys, kids were much more likely to offer open-ended comments on what they liked—helpful feedback for CAC staff. The Youth Feedback Survey became available to all OMS users in January 2021.

5. Increasing use of mental health services

NCA collaborated with Baylor University and the University of Texas on a multi-year project to train clinicians to use evidence-based assessments to determine which children would benefit from mental health treatments. We trained clinicians from 24 states in 2020. But assessments only help if kids who need therapy actually receive it. Our Enhance Early Engagement (E3) project with the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center is training advocates to encourage more families to participate in (and complete!) mental health treatments. In 2020, 66 CACs and 159 advocates participated in E3. And along with the Western Regional Children’s Advocacy Center, we launched peer consultation calls for clinicians.

6. Holding ourselves accountable

NCA staff participated in a 21-day equity challenge to self-educate on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion, then formed an internal committee to review our recruitment, hiring, and professional development practices. We also arranged for Accreditation Revision Task Force members to complete implicit bias training—NCA staff were trained, too—before beginning to review our Standards for Accredited Members. See our 2021 plans for more information

7. Boosting CAC-military partnerships

To support new and improved relations between CACs and local military installations, NCA produced fact sheets outlining key military programs and systems involved in child abuse response, launched a new webinar series to help CACs and military personnel learn about each other’s systems and processes, and made it easier for CACs using our NCAtrak case management system to track whether their clients are affiliated with the military.

8. #ItsYourBusiness

With many kids stuck at home out of sight, it’s more important than ever that we all look out for kids in our neighborhoods. NCA launched the #ItsYourBusiness mini-campaign to teach people what to look for and how to take action when they suspect abuse.

9. #CACsRespondFirst

As the effects of the pandemic spread, we quickly launched the #CACsRespondFirst mini-campaign to highlight the work of CACs and their partners as first responders to child abuse. The goal was to build support for and public understanding of what CACs do and to aid advocacy efforts in statehouses and federal agencies to recognize CAC professionals as Level 1 emergency responders for the purposes of access to funding, personal protective equipment (PPE), and other emergency resources. Memes shared to Facebook under the #CACsRespondFirst hashtag reached 80,678 individual audience members in the first few weeks, and 2,052 Facebook users clicked the NCA website link to find their local CAC.

10. Going virtual for safety

NCA members applying for accreditation undergo a comprehensive site review, as do CACs and Chapters seeking re-accreditation every five years. For safety’s sake, we transitioned to virtual site reviews, refining the process along the way to ensure that it was as thorough as it would have been in person. Meanwhile, with in-person trainings not an option, our NCAtrak team created new online trainings for users of our case management system. The sessions quickly filled up, and we’ll offer more options in 2021. We also held our first virtual Leadership Conference and had a record turnout, with more than 800 registrants, dozens of workshop recordings available for three months after the event ended, and even a night to remember: Experience the first virtual NCA Recognition Awards Ceremony with the video on the left.

Strategic Plan 2020

This marks the final year of our five-year strategic plan. As we arrive at our destination, ready to embark on a new strategic plan, here’s a look back at the goals our members set for us and themselves.

Strategic Goals

1: Expanding access

All children and families are deserving of a high-quality, seamless response that is easily accessible. NCA promoted the CAC model as the preferred response for all forms of child maltreatment. CACs have spread across the United States—as of December 2020, more than 70% of counties have formal access to an NCA Member CAC—and we continue to help organizations in other countries adopt the CAC model for themselves.

2: Branding

NCA created a strong, recognizable brand for CACs to become the undisputed authority that empowers local communities to serve and respond to child victims of trauma and abuse. We launched our new branding, which emphasizes the connections between us and our member CACs and State Chapters, in 2020 and shared the results of our branding and messaging research with our members.

3: Leadership and collaboration

NCA cultivated meaningful and sustainable collaborations among CACs, Chapters, and Regional CACs to capitalize on the unique strengths for maximum impact and seamless, non-duplicative service delivery. While this has always been one of NCA’s priorities, the extra attention paid to our member relations over the last five years helped immensely when the COVID-19 pandemic struck and our members came together without hesitation to share ideas, swap resources, and innovate new responses.

4: Leveraging partnerships and resource development

NCA engaged and cultivated public and private partners to expand resources, amplify our collective voice, and strengthen research, education, and advocacy to improve child health and well-being. As with our member collaborations, the external partnerships we’ve developed and strengthened in the last five years helped us pivot to meet members’ needs during the pandemic. When the public health crisis is over, our partners will continue to be valuable teammates in our work to improve the lives of children and end child abuse.

5: Improving outcomes for children and their families

NCA supported the development of an operational framework that utilizes/leverages research, shared data, platforms, and best practices to make data-driven decisions about service delivery to improve well-being outcomes for children and families. This framework is an integral part of our daily work, and the results of it can be seen in award-winning programs such as the Thriving Kids Initiative.

6: Organizational excellence

NCA is committed to organizational excellence, ensuring a fiscally sound and effectively governed organization with a strong and innovative workforce that creates value for its members. Our branding research showed that NCA members appreciate the value of their membership benefits, and in 2020 the NCA Board of Directors added a Chapter representative position to ensure they stay apprised of Chapter member needs as well as CACs’ needs.

Stories from the frontlines

Rural and urban. Large and small. Government-based, hospital-based, independent nonprofit. Every CAC and State Chapter is different. What doesn’t change is their devotion to helping children heal. Here are a few stories of the people who work at NCA Member CACs and Chapters, and what they accomplished in 2020. We’re proud to serve them—and proud of our staff who worked tirelessly to deliver resources and guidance to our membership.



Filling the gap with telemental health services

Barriers to getting mental health care existed long before 2020. Add in a pandemic, and it can be difficult for kids who have been victims of abuse to get treatment. Led by Stephanie Ward, Children’s Justice Centers (CJCs) in Utah took full advantage of the resources NCA offers to help fill the gap for kids in rural communities. Meanwhile, our members in North Dakota stepped up to help their peers implement telemental health programs. And NCA is looking ahead at what’s next for telehealth services as many of our members plan to continue offering them even after the pandemic is over.

Iron County CJC's Stephanie Rainey (left) and Stephanie Ward (right)

Meeting the needs of kids in crisis

In Lansing, Michigan, Small Talk Children’s Advocacy Center used a hybrid technology solution to conduct forensic interviews safely. By bringing kids to the CAC and putting them in a room of their own with a computer to connect to the interviewer, they not only prioritized health and safety but also gave the kids a greater sense of control.

The team at Small Talk. Photo by Luca Giupponi.

The power of advocacy

One of the benefits of membership in NCA is having experts on your side—built-in teammates. In Louisiana, CACs received state funding for the first time in the middle of a pandemic, when the state government was looking for ways to cut its budget. NCA State Government Affairs Director Will Laird helped the Louisiana Chapter make the case for funding CACs’ life-changing work for kids.

Louisiana Alliance of Children's Advocacy Centers with Louisiana First Lady Donna Edwards

A saving grace for kids

For some families, the barriers to getting mental health care existed long before 2020. Maybe the therapist only has appointments during a caregiver’s work hours. Or your insurance company gave you a choice of two therapists nearby who could see your child, but neither of them is trauma-trained. Or there are therapists in a different town, but you don’t have reliable transportation. Now add in a pandemic, and the barriers to treatment get much higher. It helps immensely to have the opportunity to provide treatment to a child using an iPad or a computer, and support from National Children’s Alliance in making the switch.

Stephanie Ward
Stephanie Ward

Stephanie Ward, executive director of Iron, Beaver, Kane, and Garfield County Children’s Justice Centers (CJCs) in Utah knows exactly how valuable telehealth options can be in extremely rural areas.

“Having NCA funds for our telemental health program was a dream come true for me. This is something that I’ve been wanting to bring to rural Utah for a really long time. It allows us to provide resources and services to victims and their families that would not have been possible.” Many of the therapists kids use are based in schools. So when the schools shut down, telemental health was a way to keep kids in treatment. For some children, not able to attend schools or participate in sports or other things that would normally serve as an outlet and bring them joy, being able to connect with a therapist was “a saving grace,” Ward said, “because they were just around their family, and that was it.”

She and her team took full advantage of the variety of resources NCA offers—including online webinars and health and safety guidance on keeping her staff, team, victims, and families safe. “Heading into 2021, we’re definitely more prepared because of all of the different educational tools and webinars that National Children’s Alliance has been able to put out.” She also credits other NCA members for their support. It helps to have a peer group you can reach out to when you’re having a problem and ask if they’ve encountered anything similar. And when the pandemic left her CJCs with extra funding—for example, from money she had budgeted for traveling to trainings that were now going to be held online—Ward’s program associate at NCA, James Magoon, helped her sort through the federal guidelines for allowable spending and come up with ideas on how to use the money for other things her centers needed.

More than 70% of NCA’s Member CACs offered telemental health services in 2020. About 65% of those told us they expected to continue offering telemental health even after in-person services resumed. Another 31% were unsure. Ward made it clear that this is an option that is here to stay. Telemental health “closed up that gap and filled in those services that were desperately needed in our communities…. Having access to those therapists made all the difference in the world.”

Related content

Eneida Vilella, a counselor at Dakota Children's Advocacy Center, demonstrates what a therapy session looks like on an iPadLong before the pandemic made telehealth part of the new normal for CACs, North Dakota was ahead of the curve. In our 2019 Annual Report, we introduced you to the CACs that used a grant from NCA to begin implementing a telehealth program in that state. In 2020, those CACs became an invaluable resource for other NCA members, joining us for multiple webinars about telehealth to share their experiences and offering to talk directly to the peers across the country. Learn more about how our members stepped up to support kids in need.

What’s next for telemental health?

Michelle Miller

Before 2020, we’d spent the previous two years exploring and planning how to integrate telehealth services into CACs because we saw its value for kids and families who would otherwise have trouble accessing care. The pandemic, however, hit the fast-forward button, pushing CACs to implement telemental health programs swiftly so kids were not lost to case.  Michelle Miller, NCA’s mental health project coordinator, talks about how that worked out—and what’s next for telemental health services at CACs.

Meeting the needs of kids in crisis

When we realized the pandemic wasn’t a short-term situation, forensic interviews of kids became a key concern. A forensic interview obtains a child’s statement that may be used in a criminal case against a suspected abuser, and interviewers are trained to ask questions in ways that will not retraumatize the child. Traditionally, interviews are conducted in person. Now that was problematic. NCA and researchers from Montclair State University and Central Michigan University, led by Dr. Debra Poole and Dr. Jason Dickinson, swiftly partnered with a working group of leading experts to release emergency teleforensic interview (tele-FI) guidelines. Our members joined us in sharing decision trees, screening protocols, and more, and registered for our tele-FI webinars.


Aubree Vance, Thomas Grieb, Megan Bryant, Annie Harrison, and Alex Brace of Small Talk CAC
Vance, Grieb, Bryant, Harrison, and Brace in the room where the Small Talk MDT normally meets. Photo by Luca Giupponi.

At Small Talk Children’s Advocacy Center in Lansing, Michigan, Executive Director Alex Brace, MS, LPC, says that NCA’s tele-FI resources helped “get our minds wrapped around the concept and how we needed to adapt. The supportive network NCA has cultivated allowed us to easily reach out to other advocacy centers across the country to share ideas, advice, and resources that helped strengthen and develop our process.” They did have a head-start, as Brace and Annie Harrison, a detective with Ingham County Sheriff’s Office and president of the Small Talk Board of Directors, were part of the Governor’s Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect and had heard about the Central Michigan/Montclair State study. Aubree Vance, lead forensic interviewer and prevention specialist, said that the entire Small Talk MDT was part of the decision to use tele-FI because “we knew we needed to make the best decision possible that we could to ensure that these forensic interviews were still admissible and still defendable.”

Under Small Talk’s revised process, when a child comes to the CAC, they’re shown to a room that they’ll have to themselves and shown the computer and camera. Either Vance or Intake Coordinator and Forensic Interviewer Thomas Grieb conducts the interview while the other monitors the recording and deals with tech issues. “That way the interviewer can focus on interviewing,” Grieb says. Meanwhile, Family Advocate Megan Bryant takes the caregiver to a room large enough for social distancing to go through paperwork and talk about the process. At first Bryant tried phoning caregivers, but the conversations were shorter and less in-depth than she was used to. In person, caregivers “really just kind of unload and feel the emotions that they’re feeling while they’re there with us.”

Harrison says that, initially, there was fear that they wouldn’t be able to develop rapport with kids, they’d have issues with the technology, or kids would be uncomfortable and not disclose. That hasn’t happened. But some smaller adjustments had to be made. For example, “the way you convey empathy sometimes needs to be a little bit different.”

Will Small Talk continue to use tele-FI after the crisis has passed? Executive Director Brace says, “This is a really great tool,” and one they will keep in their toolbox to use when it is needed. “For a child to sit with a trauma they have, and they’re ready to speak, we need to provide the opportunity for them to do that. However we achieve that—whether that is in person or that is over a virtual platform, we’re dedicated to meeting that need for every child who requires our services.”


This the computer kids use for their interviews at Small Talk Children's Advocacy CenterRelated content

Interested in learning more about Small Talk’s switch to teleforensic interviewing during the pandemic? Read our recent blog post about how they made the decision, the adaptations they made along the way, and how kids have reacted to talking to an interviewer over a computer. Photo by Luca Giupponi.


One in Ten podcastThe intersection of technology and forensic interviewing

Listen to our podcast interview with Dr. Debra Poole and Dr. Jason Dickinson about their research into teleforensic interviewing. Before anyone had ever heard of COVID-19, these professors from Central Michigan University and Montclair State University were examining whether forensic interviewers could use telehealth technology to connect with children in remote or rural service areas in cases where child abuse was suspected. Are teleforensic interviews as accurate and effective as face-to-face interviews?

The power of advocacy

On June 30, 2020, the Louisiana state legislature appropriated $750,000 in general funds to the state’s Children Advocacy Centers (CACs), making Louisiana the 38th state to provide funding to its centers. The passage of the bill was a victory for the centers and the children and families they serve, and one made even more joyful given its timing. But the journey from vision to passage was a long one, and NCA played a pivotal role.


When the Louisiana Alliance of Children’s Advocacy Centers (LACAC) decided it wanted to go after state funding, staff knew they needed a strategy that was tried and true—so they used what they know best, the multidisciplinary team approach. And, as it turned out, the strategy was as effective and powerful in building a coalition of support for statewide funding as it is in delivering effective, holistic support and healing to victims. Teamwork works.

Will Laird
NCA State Government Affairs Officer Will Laird

Spearheading the effort from the State Chapter were the alliance’s executive director, Kate Shipley, and the program coordinator, Sarah Landsman. From the outset, they called on NCA’s Will Laird (pictured, right), state government affairs officer, to help them formulate a plan. “It’s an understatement to say that Will went above and beyond,” says Shipley. “From the moment we began working with him, he provided consistent, in-depth, and ongoing consultation and support.”

Laird’s support continued as Shipley and Landsman continued to build their team of support for statewide funding for CACs. They found a champion for the bill in House Appropriations Chairman Jerome Zeringue (Lafourche, Terrebonne), who not only authored the budget but fought to prioritize vulnerable children through this funding. “If I had one piece of advice to give other states looking to do this,” says Landsman, “it would be to make sure that the chair of Appropriations is on your team. It really helps.” It also helps to have the unwavering support of both the governor, John Bel Edwards, and the first lady, Donna Edwards, who understand and actively promote the cause of advocacy centers—and that speaks to the work that LACAC and each individual center did to establish a foundation of knowledge and understanding of their work before the legislative session began.

As the bill made its way through the state legislature, there was a groundswell of support—culminating in the announcement by the IJN Foundation (In Jesus’ Name), a longtime supporter of LACAC and of the work of CACs generally—that it would match the state appropriation at 20%, an additional $150,000.

“It’s been an incredible journey,” says Shipley, “and we certainly couldn’t have done it without the collaborative effort of the CACs and all the help and support we got along the way. It’s been an important lesson, once again, of the power of working together as a team, and of bringing together different people with different perspectives and expertise for a common cause.”

What we made possible, together

NCA amplifies the voices of children and of child advocates around the country, bringing national attention to the work CACs do to help kids heal from abuse.

Keeping kids safe for the people who protect us

CHKD staff and their teammates in the military.

When kids in military families are the victims of abuse—or there’s a suspicion of abuse—it’s important that both the civilian system and the military system know how to work together. At the Children’s Advocacy Center in Norfolk, Virginia, which has Army, Navy, Coast Guard, and Air Force bases nearby, the CAC-military partnership is an outstanding example of how this kind of collaboration can work.

A brighter future: 2021 plans

After what might very well be the toughest year our field has ever faced, we’re looking ahead to what comes next. Read more about a few of our priorities for 2021, include new grant funding to increase services to kids in rural and remote communities, a thorough review and revisions of our Standards for Accredited Members, and a multi-year project to encourage more families to take advantage of mental health services available at CACs.

The VOCA Fix Act

The Crime Victims Fund, which funds Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grants, will be depleted—likely within two years—unless legislative action is taken. VOCA funds essential victim services such as medical care, mental health care, and victim advocacy for child victims of abuse at CACs as well as many other victims of crimes served by agencies nationwide. Without action to stabilize the Crime Victims Fund, just the effect on CACs alone could mean 36,000 kids or more could lose access to services each year. In 2020, NCA worked with other victim services organizations to push Congress to solve the problem. More than 1,500 advocates signed on to a joint letter calling for the VOCA Fix Act, introduced in both houses of Congress with strong bipartisan support. Stabilizing the Crime Victims Fund is an absolute top priority in 2021. Go to our VOCA Fix page to learn how you can help.


Million-dollar project to improve rural services

In early 2021, we launched a two-year project with Cambia Health Solutions and to support increasing access to mental health services for kids in rural areas of Utah. NCA will use lessons learned from the project to develop a roadmap for increasing access to services in rural communities across the country.


New funding for services to Native communities

In 2021, NCA will administer more than $5 million in new, five-year federal grants for expanding CAC services to American Indian and Alaska Native children in the contiguous 48 states and in the state of Alaska.

Setting the Standards for Accredited Members

Every five years, we review our national standards that Accredited CACs and Chapters must meet. With the help of revision task forces and expert consultants, we’ll complete changes to the CAC Standards for Accredited Members in 2021, to take effect in January 2023.

New benchmarking resources for CACs and Chapters

Based on growing demand for detailed staffing and salary information, in 2021 we will survey CACs about staff demographics, salaries, benefits, turnover, and more. We also plan to release a Chapter salary assessment, based on data from the 2019 Chapter Census. We also plan to launch a National Chapter Mentorship Program in which experienced Chapter leaders will help guide those who are new to their roles. In addition, our Outcome Measurement System launched a new Youth Feedback Survey in early 2021.

New models for better military partnerships

In February 2020, the U.S. Government Accountability Office released a report on Increased Guidance and Collaboration Needed to Improve DOD’s Tracking and Response to Child Abuse. Among the report’s 23 recommendations, four said that the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force should each develop a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with NCA to make CAC services available to all military installations. NCA was already in the process of developing MOUs with each service, and we hope to complete them in 2021. Then we’ll begin the process of getting CACs signed on to the MOUs. We are also working with the FBI to update our existing MOU with that agency.

Engaging families in healing

Our multi-year Enhance Early Engagement (E3) research project continues, with the CACs that served as our control group in 2020 becoming the first group to get trained using what we learned from the test groups. The goal is to help family and victim advocates at CACs learn how to engage more families in mental health treatment.



Who we are

National Children’s Alliance is a professional membership organization on a mission to make one big difference, one child at a time. And we’re the force behind Children’s Advocacy Centers, where children who have been abused receive high-quality care in a kid-friendly environment, and State Chapters, member organizations composed of CACs within one state, facilitating a network dedicated to a coordinated and comprehensive response to child abuse.

The power of us: About NCA and CACs

National Children’s Alliance (NCA) is a professional membership organization on a mission to make one big difference, one child at a time. And we’re the force behind Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs), where children who have been abused receive high-quality care in a kid-friendly environment, and the State Chapters that lead CACs to a comprehensive response across a given state.

NCA’S staff

We spent almost the entire year working from our own homes, and the experience brought us closer together. Meet the team that serves Children’s Advocacy Centers and State Chapters across the country.

Volunteer leadership

Led by 2021 President Lou Anna Red Corn, our Board of Directors ensures that NCA’s work is informed by those working directly in the community with families every day, and with close ties with their professional communities, to provide high-quality services to children and support for CACs.

Lou Anna Red Corn

The force behind NCA

Just as NCA is the force behind Children’s Advocacy Centers and State Chapters, our supporters and partners are the force behind us. So many people shared their time, expertise, or money in 2020 that we can’t list them all. But here’s a look at some of the people who make what we do possible.

Our supporters

NCA Benefactor $2,500+

  • Angel Publishing (Bill Lowe)
  • Kimberly Day
  • Mathias H. Heck, Jr.
  • Jason Holmes
  • Teresa Huizar
  • Henry Shiembob

NCA Guardian $1,000+

  • David & Julie Betz
  • The 5 Browns
  • Hailey Hunt
  • Theresa Lee
  • Jeffrey Noto
  • Lou Anna Red Corn
  • Karen Siegel
  • Mark Strutz

NCA Steward $500+

  • Alexandra Cooley
  • Jo Ann Hammond
  • Andrea Smieja


NCA Protector $250+

  • Kimberly Baird
  • Ernestine Briggs-King
  • Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center
  • Will Laird & Emily Chittenden-Laird
  • Kevin & Tricia Dowling
  • Denise Edwards
  • Karen Farst, M.D.
  • Timothy Gooden, M.D.

  • Kaitlin Lounsbury
  • Joy McGreevy
  • Michelle J. Miller
  • Stephen Joseph Pradarelli
  • Deven Roberts
  • Luca Rotondo
  • Julie Stevens


NCA Friend $100+

  • Geri Archibald
  • Nancy Brown
  • James Bramble
  • Debra Callaway
  • Ana Campos
  • Jean Carrion
  • Andrew Casden
  • Cathy Crabtree
  • Michelle Cobb
  • Jacob Crisp
  • Theodore Cross
  • Mary Davisson
  • Brooke Dekker
  • Janice Dinkins-Davidson
  • John Douglas
  • Janis Dworkis
  • Eileen Earnhardt
  • Oded Fahima
  • Deborah Fernau
  • Janet Fine

  • Darcy Fluharty
  • Lindsey Goldstein
  • Dimple Gupta
  • Sandra Henley
  • Karen Holyk-Casey
  • Kendra Hossfeld
  • Donna Howard
  • Jennifer Kosobucki
  • Katrina Limson
  • Tiffany Maguire
  • Amanda Marchitello
  • Alicia Martinez
  • Amy McClurg
  • Margaret McDonnell
  • Patrick T. Mylod
  • Libby Nicholson
  • Kayla Nixon
  • Aithan Peterson
  • Cheryl Peterson
  • Channing Petrak
  • Emily Rachel

  • McKinley Rainey
  • Edward Rhoads
  • Margo Rogers
  • Ann Sellers
  • Andrea Schwemin
  • Amanda Smith
  • Sarah Sterling
  • Aparna Sura
  • Tara Swaminatha
  • Cindy Sweeney
  • Michele Thames
  • Mary Astrid Tuminez
  • Chris Turner
  • Edie Vaughan
  • Frances Tarbett-Wallace
  • Blake Warenik
  • Todd-Elizabeth Weiler
  • Sherry Wetteroth
  • Nancy Williams
  • Danielle Yoch


Our partners

National Mission Partners



Platinum National Corporate Partners



Gold National Corporate Partners

American Psychological Association logo



National Corporate Partners



Sponsors and Other Corporate Partners



Academic Project Partners

  • Baylor University
  • Medical University of South Carolina
  • University of New Hampshire, Crimes Against Children Research Center
  • University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
  • University of Texas at Tyler
  • Yale Child Study Center, Yale School of Medicine


Regional Partners

  • Midwest Regional Children’s Advocacy Center
  • Northeast Regional Children’s Advocacy Center
  • Southern Regional Children’s Advocacy Center
  • Western Regional Children’s Advocacy Center


Special Thanks

Many thanks to the hundreds of CAC, State Chapter, and Regional leaders and other content experts who made time in their busy schedules to help with our task forces, Collaborative Work Groups, and new educational resources in 2020. Your efforts help make a difference for kids all across the United States.



Get involved

Whether you’re introverted, extroverted, super-busy, or looking for a new project, we have easy ways you can help make a difference for kids.



Make a donation to support our work.

Start a fundraiser and invite friends and family to give.



Learn how you can help advocate on behalf of Children’s Advocacy Centers.



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Raise awareness

Find out what to do if you suspect a child is being abused.

Share your story of surviving child sexual abuse and help let other survivors know that they’re not alone.


Support local CACs

Use our interactive map to find a Children’s Advocacy Center near you, and support their work on behalf of children in your hometown.



Statement of financial activities

Year ended October 31, 2020

Revenue, Support, and Other Changes
Grant revenue $14,179,638
NCA’s database software project 821,205
Accreditation 308,460
Conference fees 0
Membership dues 521,917
Other revenue 1,475
Contributions 87,627
Interest and dividends 5,222
In-kind revenue 1,259
Total Revenue, Support, and Other Changes $15,926,803


Program services—Grants $12,881,467
Program services 1,157,806
Public awareness 446,147
Management and general 1,689,296
Fundraising 148,146
Total Expenses $16,322,862


Statement of Financial Position
Net assets (beginning of year) $2,853,960
Net assets (end of year) 2,457,901
Change in Net Assets ($396,059)


89¢ of every NCA dollar is used for services that directly benefit CACs



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