TALBOT COUNTY CHILDREN’S ADVOCACY CENTER EARNS REACCREDITATION FROM NATIONAL CHILDREN’S ALLIANCE

Star Democrat Aug 12, 2022, by Angela Price

National Children’s Alliance recognizes Talbot County Children’s Advocacy Center for its ongoing delivery of high-quality and effective services to child abuse victims through accreditation.

Talbot County Children’s Advocacy Center (TCCAC) has been awarded reaccreditation 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, the 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 reaccreditation process every five years to ensure that best practices are continually being applied. With accreditation standards being updated in 2017, reaccreditation this year reflects Talbot County Children’s Advocacy Center’s commitment to providing evidence-based methods practice.

As an Accredited Member of National Children’s Alliance since 2007,

Talbot County Children’s Advocacy Center provides comprehensive,

coordinated and compassionate services to victims of child abuse.

The Center opened in 2003 when a group of professionals and

volunteers set out to find a more compassionate and effective way to

bring services to children victimized by abuse.  TCCAC operates in

partnership with the Talbot County Department of Social Services,

University of Maryland Shore Regional Health, Talbot County State’s

Attorney’s Office, Talbot County Sheriff’s Office, Easton Police

Department and other local law enforcement agencies, Maryland

State Police, and others, including those in the health and mental health fields. Since July 2017, 375 forensic interviews have been conducted by specially trained professionals. Since July 2019, 1,458 family advocacy sessions have been provided to 793 children and adults. TCCAC also operates the Regional Medical Program, providing specialized medical services to children victimized by abuse in Talbot, Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s Counties.

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 a team of individuals dedicated to responding to child abuse, we recognize the importance of maintaining Accredited status from the National Children’s Alliance. Reaccreditation not only validates our organization’s dedication to proven effective approaches of child abuse intervention and prevention but also contributes to consistency across the Children’s Advocacy Center movement as a whole,” said Lauren Krasko, TCCAC Coordinator.

Talbot County Department of Social Services Director Linda Webb added, “The Talbot County Children’s Advocacy Center serves not just children and families from Talbot County, but those from all five of the Mid Shore counties through our Regional Medical Program. Reaccreditation communicates our commitment to excellence in serving the Mid Shore region.”

“Congratulations to TCCAC for their recent reaccreditation, reflective of the excellent service they provide,” commented University of Maryland Shore Regional Health President and CEO Ken Kozel. “University of Maryland Shore Regional Health is proud to partner with them on behalf of our community.”   

“Talbot County Children’s 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 professional collaboration. By requiring Accredited Centers to undergo reaccreditation 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.Type your paragraph here.

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Formal annual reports come and go all the time during “normal times.” The business of recording the highlights of a specific year is a long-standing tradition to document critical events for corporations and government agencies. But they are rarely on the top of anyone’s reading list, given these somewhat predictable narratives of jobs well done.

But as Talbot County slowly finds itself hopefully coming out of the worst aspects of the COVIC-19 pandemic, these straightforward accounts don’t do justice to the extraordinary pivots local governments made as the region shut down for most of the year.

And no other agency felt more of that burden than the County’s Department of Social Services. With sky-high unemployment, child care canceled, and significant spikes in mental illness, DSS had a full plate at a time when its regular plate was already full.

Given all that, the Spy reached out to DSS director Linda Webb and her colleague, Katie Pedersen, who heads up the County’s Children’s Advocacy Center, to talk about this very strange and sometimes painful year for many Talbot families.

MEDIA

A Look Back at a Difficult 2020 with Talbot County’s Social Services
April 7, 2021 by The Spy

Children’s Advocates Commemorate National Child Abuse Prevention Month


Star Democrate April 18, 2018


To commemorate April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month, children’s advocates from organizations throughout the five county region recently placed 61 blue ribbons, each representing a child served by the Talbot County Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) the past year, on a tree at University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Easton. The annual event is designed to heighten community awareness of the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse and neglect and to promote the social and emotional well-being of children and families.

Volunteers who helped place ribbons represented the Talbot County Sheriff's Office, Easton Police Department, Maryland State Police, Talbot County Department of Social Services, Talbot County State's Attorney's Office, Evolution Mental Health and Trauma Services, Talbot Community Connections, University of Maryland Shore Regional Health at Easton, Kent County State's Attorney's Office, Kent County Children's Advocacy Center, Talbot County Department of Social Services Advisory Board, and Talbot County Children's Advocacy Center.

The CAC coordinates with local law enforcement and social services to

offer comprehensive, multi-disciplinary responses to alleged incidences

of child sexual and physical abuse. In partnership with University of

Maryland Shore Regional Health, the CAC provides noninvasive,

forensic medical examinations in a secure location for cases in

Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties.

Talbot Community Connections (TCC), a nonprofit arm of the Talbot

County Department of Social Services, has the mission to raise and

distribute funds to answer unmet needs that are fundamental to the

safety, security, health and well-being of Talbot County’s children and

adults. These needs cross all economic levels. The funds raised provide help to abused children through the Talbot County Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) families in crisis, the unemployed and working poor, and disabled and frail elderly. TCC awards provided funds for respite care, prevention of evictions and utility disconnects, therapeutic activities for disabled foster care children, housing fuel, transportation, and a fatherhood program.

The CAC can be reached at 410-820-7141 or talbot.cac1@maryland.gov. More information is available at
www.talbotcac.org.