CAC of McKean County earns accreditation from National Children’s Alliance

The team from the Children’s Advocacy Center of McKean County — including, from left, Mikele Bay, executive director; Mindi Brown, former forensic interviewer; and Tonia Hartzell, family advocate — finished the long road to earning accreditation from the National Children’s Alliance.

SMETHPORT — The Children’s Advocacy Center of McKean County 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, 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 National Children’s Alliance and denotes excellence in service provision.

The CAC of McKean County became fully operational in January 2013.

In 2016, the CACMC partnered with Bradford Regional Medical Center in opening the First Step Clinic providing specialized medical evaluations and follow up treatment to child victims of abuse. In the last several years the program has expanded to provide forensic interview services to Potter, Elk and Cameron County serving upwards of 150-180 children annually for all counties combined.

As an Accredited Member of National Children’s Alliance, the Children’s Advocacy Center of McKean County 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.

“As a team of individuals dedicated to responding to child abuse, we recognize the importance of accreditation from National Children’s Alliance and supporting the Multidisciplinary Team approach,” said Mikele Bay, executive director of the CAC of McKean County. “Accreditation not only validates our organization’s proven effective approach to responding to allegations of child abuse, but also provides consistency across the child advocacy center movement as a whole. It is a privilege to become the 22nd fully accredited CAC in the state of Pennsylvania.”

Teresa Huizar, executive director of National Children’s Alliance, lauded the local agency.

“The CAC of McKean County is to be commended for its excellent work serving victims of child abuse,” Huizar said. “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.”

Find more information about the Children’s Advocacy Center of McKean County at the organization’s Facebook page.

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