Our Standards

Supporting children and adolescents as they heal and pursue justice after abuse or maltreatment means that families and caregivers entrust us with an important responsibility. National standards for children’s advocacy centers help meet this responsibility by setting an expectation of consistent, proven services and interventions that center the needs of the child, adolescent and family.

What are the standards?

The Minnesota Children’s Alliance is an accredited state chapter of the National Children’s Alliance (NCA), and works with centers in Minnesota to meet the child advocacy center accreditation standards. The NCA Standards are reviewed and updated according to new research every five years. Accredited CACs renew their application for accreditation on a five year rolling cycle.

The standards reflect organizational and service standards, including:

  • multidisciplinary teams
  • cultural competency and diversity
  • forensic interviews
  • victim support and advocacy
  • medical evaluation
  • mental health
  • case review
  • case tracking
  • organizational capacity, and
  • child-focused settings.

Review a copy of the NCA Standards for Accredited Members (2017 Edition).

Read the standards

Do the standards apply to multidisciplinary teams that don’t use a CAC?

The standards are only applicable to children’s advocacy centers that are seeking accreditation. However, we believe that the NCA Standards provide a blueprint for many communities that are developing their coordinated response to child abuse and maltreatment.

While not every provision in the standards may be applicable to county or tribally-based MDTs, our team can work with you to develop informed practices that fit your community. Through custom team development support and technical assistance, we work with your MDT to ensure high-quality, consistent and coordinated responses to these cases.

How to Start a CAC

Children's advocacy centers (CACs) provide responsive services designed to help children and families heal from abuse. Are you interested in starting a CAC in your community?

Learn How