Did you know:

Katie’s Journey

Katie, a 5yr Kinder student happy, energetic, and very bright!!

Christmas Break:   She spends a few days and nights with her cousins like she has done so many times before.

When she comes home this time something is different… Katie isn’t the same.  She has become sullen, not hungry even for spaghetti, her favorite. Katie begins having nightmares and won’t sleep without a light on and has frequent stomach aches and her head hurts. Her pediatrician can’t find a reason for these symptoms. Oh and now she doesn’t want to go to her cousins to play.

Back to school after the break, Katie’s teacher notices a change too and talks to her mom.

Mom says she’s noticed changes too but when she asks Katie, she says ” it’s nothing”.

A few weeks later a representative from the local Child Advocacy Center (CAC) came in and talked to Katie’s class about being safe. She explained about touches that make us feel happy and those that make us uncomfortable.  She discussed with them about talking to a safe adult when they don’t feel safe. Katie likes her teacher and thinks of her as a safe adult and decides to tell her what happened over Christmas break.

Katie’s teacher had also just received the training from the CAC for teachers about recognizing and reporting abuse. She learned not to question Katie, but comforts her and tells her how brave she is for telling, and she will do what she can to help her.  Her teacher makes a report to the child abuse hotline.

Back at the CAC, the intake coordinator reads a report of sexual assault on a five-year-old girl and calls the investigators from the local law enforcement to set an interview.  

Katie and her mom come to the CAC, where they are greeted by staff whose only goal is to make Katie and her mom feel safe and comfortable as possible.

Another smiling face comes in to meet Katie, the Forensic Interviewer. She introduces herself and tells Katie that they will be talking together soon and shows her and mom where Katie and the Interviewer will be talking.

The investigator for Katie’s case is in a separate observation room to watch the interview. Katie and Mom know that this will be videotaped and are reassured it does not go public. 

The Forensic Interviewer, a Family Advocate, and the Investigator talk with mom briefly before the interview, while Katie plays in the waiting room, where a CAC staff member is there to help her with anything she may need. 

When they are ready to begin, the Forensic Interviewer walks with Katie back to the interview room where she gets to know more about Katie and why she has come to the CAC. The Interviewer, without asking leading questions, allows Katie to tell her experience.

Katie feels safe and is able to talk about what had happened to her, that her favorite uncle had touched her in ways much different than ever before and it was uncomfortable. He had always told her how beautiful and smart she was. He gave her little gifts and made her feel special, but this was different and he told her this was their special secret. Her uncle then told her if she tells anyone she would make her mom very sad and she would likely be in big trouble.

While Katie is in the interview, a Family advocate comes and visits with mom. They go to a private room to talk about the services available to their family at no cost to her. The Family Advocate offers to connect the family with Trauma-Focused Therapists, to help start the healing process.  CAC offers several other resources they might need and will follow up with mom regularly and offers for her to call when needed.  

Once the interview is over, Mom is briefed about what her daughter has experienced. The investigators talked to her about providing a Sexual Assault Exam at the center for Katie and they will make arrangements with the SANE Nurse. The nurse provides a non-invasive exam on Katie and communicates with mom to ease any concerns she may have. This type of exam also helps the child know that their body is okay.

The interview and exam process is over, Katie felt safe enough to tell of her experience… a definite relief, but it’s not over for her. Katie will need trauma-focused therapy, to help learn coping skills and work through her experience. Mom is understandably devastated, after all this was mom’s brother. How could he do this to her little girl?  As a secondary trauma victim, mom will need counseling too and it will be available for her also.

Katie is lucky, her mom believes her and is protective, not all moms are like Katie’s. Mom is visibly upset and needs a few minutes to compose herself, she is told to take all the time she needs. Katie is safe out front having a snack and is busy choosing a new blanket and toy to take home. She asks if she can take something home to her little brother and of course she can!

Katie’s story is like so many others out there struggling with a situation that they had been groomed to think is special or normal, but because the CAC was able to provide the needed education for Katie’s class and teacher she was provided an avenue to share what had happened to her in a safe atmosphere.  Katie was given a path to recovery and a VOICE!

 

NETCAC EARNS RE-ACCREDITATION FROM NCA

PRESS RELEASE: 

NORTHEAST TEXAS CHILD ADVOCACY CENTER EARNS RE-ACCREDITATION FROM NATIONAL CHILDREN’S ALLIANCE

National Children’s Alliance recognizes Northeast Texas Child Advocacy Center for its ongoing delivery of high quality and effective services to child abuse victims through accreditation

WINNSBORO (January 5, 2021) – Northeast Texas Child Advocacy Center (NETCAC) has been awarded re-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, National Children’s Alliance awards various levels of accreditation and membership to centers responding to allegations of child abuse in ways that are effective and efficient, and put the needs of child victims of abuse first. Accreditation is the highest level of membership with the National Children’s Alliance and denotes excellence in service provision.

Accredited CACs must undergo a re-accreditation process every five years to ensure that best practices are continually being applied. With accreditation standards being updated in 2010, re-accreditation this year reflects NETCAC’s commitment to providing evidence-based methods practice.

The NETCAC was established in 1998 and has interviewed over 9,600 children since its inception.  The NETCAC offers a safe child-friendly environment to children, between the ages of 2-17 who allegedly have been sexually or severely physically abused or have been a witness to a violent crime.  The NETCAC serves the counties of Camp, Delta, Franklin, Hopkins, Rains, Titus, Upshur, and Wood.  As an Accredited Member of the National Children’s Alliance, NETCAC is dedicated to providing comprehensive, coordinated, and compassionate services to victims of child abuse.

National Children’s Alliance awards Accredited Membership based on a CAC’s compliance with 10 national standards of accreditation to ensure effective, efficient, and consistent delivery of services to child abuse victims. 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 child-focused setting.

“As an organization/team of individuals dedicated to responding to child abuse, we recognize the importance of maintaining Accredited status from the National Children’s Alliance. Re-accreditation not only validates our organization’s dedication to proven effective approaches of child abuse intervention and prevention but also contributes to consistency across the child advocacy center movement as a whole,” said Imelda Tatsch, Executive Director.

The Northeast Texas Child Advocacy Center is to be commended for its continued commitment to effectively serve 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 the professional collaboration. By requiring Accredited Centers to undergo re-Accreditation every five years, we ensure that evidence-based practices are being implemented and the highest quality of service is being provided,” remarked Teresa Huizar, Executive Director of National Children’s Alliance.

For more information about the Northeast Texas Child Advocacy Center, visit www.NETCAC.org.

Our mission of “Breaking the Cycle of Abuse, One Child at a Time!”, with community support, is accomplished through the commitment of a cooperative partnership of law enforcement, legal services, child protective services, medical services, and therapeutic care providers.  The children who come to the NETCAC are allowed to tell their experiences in a non-leading way to a trained forensic interviewer rather than having to repeat it multiple times to multiple agencies involved in the investigation and prosecution, therefore reducing the trauma to the child.

The NETCAC meets the standards and criteria set by the National Children’s Alliance.

National Children’s Alliance is the national association and accrediting body for the 777 Children’s Advocacy Centers and 49 State Chapters 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 the National Children’s Alliance is to empower local communities to provide comprehensive, coordinated, and compassionate services to victims of child abuse. Founded in 1990, 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.

Every Child, Every Service, Every Effort

What is the Child Advocacy Center?

Each year, countless children suffer from abuse and neglect. The Children’s Advocacy Center of Texas (CACs) was established in 1994 in an effort to enhance the sensitivity and responsiveness of our civil and criminal justice systems, thereby minimizing the impact of the trauma, for these children and their families.  CACs are non-profit 501-(c) (3) organizations.

 

What is the Northeast Texas Child Advocacy Center?

The NETCAC offers a safe child-friendly environment to children between the ages of 2-17 who allegedly have been sexually or severely physically abused or have been a witness to a violent crime. The children who come to the NETCAC are allowed to tell their experiences in a non-leading way to a trained forensic interviewer rather than having to repeat it multiple times to multiple agencies involved in the investigation and prosecution, therefore reducing the trauma to the child.