AMHC News

Aroostook Children’s Advocacy Center Earns Accreditation from National Children’s Alliance

ACAC recognized for its delivery of high quality and effective services to victims of child abuse

Photo caption: Katherine Bartlett, Family Services Advocate, and Lori Deschaine, Forensic Interviewer, display the letter from the National Children’s Alliance confirming the Aroostook Children’s Advocacy Center has successfully achieved accreditation.

Aroostook Children’s Advocacy Center (ACAC), a program of Aroostook Mental Health Services, Inc. (AMHC), is pleased to share that it has been awarded accreditation by National Children’s Alliance following an extensive application and site review process. As the accrediting agency for Children’s Advocacy Centers (CAC) across the country, accreditation is the highest level of membership with the National Children’s Alliance and denotes excellence in service provision.

“It seems fitting that we should announce ACAC’s accreditation in April, which is designated Child Abuse Awareness Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month,” explained Julia Miller, Program Director of Prevention and Sexual Assault Services. “We’re extremely proud of our ACAC team and our community partners who made this possible.

As an accredited member, ACAC has demonstrated its ability to provide comprehensive, coordinated, and compassionate services to victims of child abuse. AMHC Sexual Assault Services opened ACAC in 2018 and has assisted nearly 400 children and their families since that time. “The closest Children’s Advocacy Center used to be in Bangor,” explained Miller. “A local program reduces barriers to services and connects a child and family with resources and supports in their community.”

National Children’s Alliance awards accredited membership based on a CAC’s compliance with ten national accreditation standards to ensure effective, efficient, and consistent delivery of services to child abuse victims. According to these standards, which reflect the most recent evidence-based practices in the field of child abuse intervention and prevention, accredited members must utilize a functioning and effective multidisciplinary team approach to work collaboratively in child abuse investigation, prosecution, and treatment. National Children’s Alliance also considers standards regarding a center’s cultural competency and diversity, forensic interviews, victim support and advocacy, medical evaluation, therapeutic intervention, and a child-focused setting.

“Aroostook Children’s Advocacy Center is to be commended for its excellent work serving victims of child abuse. As the national association and accrediting body for Children’s Advocacy Centers across the country, our goal is to ensure that every victim of child abuse has access to high-quality services that result from professional collaboration,” remarked Teresa Huizar, executive director of National Children’s Alliance.

National Children’s Alliance is a nonprofit association and accrediting body providing comprehensive care through hundreds of Children’s Advocacy Centers nationwide with a forward-thinking approach that stays at the forefront of every child’s future. For more information, visit nationalchildrensalliance.org.

Learn more about Aroostook Children’s Advocacy Center at www.amhcsas.org.

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