Mental Health

Sustaining an Evidence-Based Practice

Carole SwiecickiJune 27, 2017
Insights
Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs) have come a long way in the last 30 years.  We have added services and interventions based on solid research—evidence-based practices (EBPs)—all the while maintaining a passion for ensuring that these practices put children on a better path than before they came through our doors. Because the research has come so far, there are now many EBPs to choose from that are tailored to meet specific needs of c...Continue

What Others' Trauma Leaves Behind

Kim DayJune 22, 2017
Research Into Practice
The American Counseling Association’s Traumatology Interest Network (2014) defines vicarious trauma as “the emotional residue from hearing other people’s trauma stories and becoming witness to the pain, fear, and terror the trauma survivor endured” (Network, 2014).  Being witness to another’s pain can cause us to see the world differently.  Individuals working with, and hearing the stories of people who have experienced trauma...Continue

The Lifelong Sting of Abuse

Beth BrandesApril 13, 2017
Personal Narratives
NOTE: This story contains graphic descriptions of violence against children.I was 23 years old, in my first job as an assistant social worker in the Atlanta schools, when I was called to the principal’s office of a quiet suburban elementary school. The principal met me with hushed tones outside his office door and said, “I need you to look at Timmy; he is seven, in my office. His teacher thinks something has happened to him.” Forty years la...Continue

Treatment Starts with Assessment. Assessment Starts with Engagement.

Jeffrey WherryNovember 3, 2016
Research Into Practice
NCA’s new Standards for Accredited Members call for an initial standardized mental health assessment and periodic re-assessment of children which serve to inform treatment. Every discussion about assessment (or screening) must be prefaced by a definition of what we are screening or assessing. Good practice dictates, and the Standards require, an assessment of other potential traumatic or abusive events, as well as resulting symptoms. Multiple t...Continue

Growing Mental Health Access Through Systems Change

Char RivetteOctober 21, 2016
Case Study
Six years ago, I sat in a room in Chicago with some of my staff, a funder, and a group of mental health providers, contemplating the dilemma we were facing and decided enough was enough. Since the opening of our Children’s Advocacy Center in 2001, we saw a persistent problem: there simply wasn’t enough mental health provider capacity to meet the needs of the children coming through ChicagoCAC for sexual abuse investigations.We had always had...Continue