National Children’s Alliance Awards Grants to Children’s Advocacy Center of Brevard

By  //  January 26, 2020

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NCA is the national association and accrediting body for a network of 795 Children’s Advocacy Centers

The National Children’s Alliance recently awarded a $25,000 Mental Health Program Improvement Grant for Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and a $46,000 Domestic Trafficking Victims Funds Training Grant to the Children’s Advocacy Center of Brevard. (Children’s Advocacy Center of Brevard image)

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The National Children’s Alliance recently awarded a $25,000 Mental Health Program Improvement Grant for Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and a $46,000 Domestic Trafficking Victims Funds Training Grant to the Children’s Advocacy Center of Brevard.

The NCA Mental Health Program Improvement Grant funds will allow the Children’s Advocacy Center (CACB) to send its Clinical Intervention Program counselors to advanced trauma and behavioral training to strengthen its programs in providing evidence-based trauma treatment to child abuse victims.

The Domestic Trafficking Victim Funds Training Grant will help them facilitate training to the CACB’s multidisciplinary team members who are involved in child sexual exploitation/child pornography and human trafficking investigations and treatment for victims.

“We’re grateful for both of these grants,” said Jeanie Raciti, Director of the Rockledge-based CACB.

“The funds will provide valuable training to our staff, who are dedicated to serving the most vulnerable individuals in the Space Coast Community. The training will strengthen not only staff members’ individual skills but also those of our MDT partners, enhancing our coordination and collaboration in handling child abuse investigations and improving outcomes for child victims.”

Grant funds also will enable the CACB to invite national experts to Brevard County to present at its third annual Multidisciplinary Team Training Workshop in July at the Space Coast Health Foundation Center for Collaboration.

NCA is the national association and accrediting body for a network of 795 Children’s Advocacy Centers —CACs – across the United States.

“We’re grateful for both of these grants,” said Jeanie Raciti, Director of the Rockledge-based CACB. “The funds will provide valuable training to our staff, who are dedicated to serving the most vulnerable individuals in the Space Coast Community. The training will strengthen not only staff members’ individual skills but also those of our MDT partners, enhancing our coordination and collaboration in handling child abuse investigations and improving outcomes for child victims.”

The NCA provides support, advocacy, quality assurance; and national leadership for CACs, to support the important work of CACs in communities across the country. NCA empowers CACs to provide a comprehensive, coordinated and compassionate evidence-based response to child victims of abuse.

To receive NCA funding, the CACB is required to address goals to improve the quality of services to abused children by improving performance under any of the NCA’s 10 national accreditation standards.

The tragic statistics in Brevard County show why this training is important.

In 2018 and 2019, 17 children died from abuse and neglect in Brevard County and there already have been two deaths in January related to neglect.

Child abuse fatalities are not the only consequences abused children suffer. Brevard county children suffering from sexual abuse, physical abuse, and neglect, all of which are considered forms of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs.), are at risk for mental health problems, such as mood disorders, anxiety, substance abuse, and impulse control disorders based on the latest research regarding ACEs.

Child abuse often co-occurs with other ACEs, like witness to domestic or community violence, traumatic loss or separation, or sexual assault.

Adults with multiple ACES have even been shown to be more likely to endure poor health outcomes like diabetes, STDs, heart disease, and early death. In short, without intervention, child abuse causes lifelong problems.

The CACB, founded in 1996, helps children by providing them with justice and healing from their abuse in a child-friendly setting and with professionals they can trust.

In addition to collecting forensic evidence to help law enforcement and child protective services protect children from abusers, CACB coordinates a complete response to the needs of a child after the abuse.

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Last year, the CACB provided more than 1,400 child abuse assessments, including specialized and forensic interviews and medical examinations, over 8,000 clinical assessments and evidence-based mental health treatments that are proven to reduce trauma symptoms, case management, victim advocacy services, and more.

The CACB is a nonprofit organization and program of the Space Coast Health Foundation.

The CACB is a multi-agency collaboration of the Child Protection Team, the Florida Department of Children and Families, both of which are onsite at the Advocacy Center; Brevard County Sheriff’s Office and municipal law enforcement agencies, the Office of the State Attorney and mental health professionals.

Advocacy Center partners are involved in the most egregious child abuse cases in Brevard County, including cases of child sexual or severe physical abuse, and neglect.

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