Heart to Heart Child Advocacy Center earns re-accreditation

by Apr 5, 2019COMMUNITY sgadugi

The Heart to Heart Child Advocacy Center staff is shown meeting with Principal Chief Richard G. Sneed recently. Shown, left to right, are Brandi Cooper, program manager; Chief Sneed; Jewel Staton, victim services coordinator; and Emilee Palmer, case manager/forensic interviewer. (Photo by Ashleigh Stephens/EBCI Public Relations)


Heart to Heart Child Advocacy Center has been awarded re-accreditation by the 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.

Accredited CACs must undergo a re-accreditation process every five years to ensure that best practices are continually being applied. With accreditation standards being updated in 2010, re-accreditation this year reflects Heart to Heart’s commitment to providing evidence-based methods.

Heart to Heart provides various services to children. They provide mental health services, interview services, and advocacy services for all children who have been abused. As an Accredited Member of National Children’s Alliance, Heart to Heart 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. 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 whether they provide a child focused setting.

As an organization dedicated to responding to child abuse, we recognize the importance of maintaining Accredited status from National Children’s Alliance. Re-accreditation not only validates our organization’s dedication to proven effective approaches of child abuse intervention and prevention, but also contributes to consistency across the child advocacy center movement as a whole.

“The staff at Heart to Heart has worked hard over the years to protect the children of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, and it is my honor to recognize their service to the survivors they work with,” said Principal Chief Richard G. Sneed.  “The program has worked to earn this accreditation because they care about our people, especially our children.  We must all be advocates for our youth, and I am proud of the effort they have put into this process.”

Teresa Huizar, Executive Director of National Children’s Alliance, commented, “Heart to Heart 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 re-Accreditation every five years, we ensure that evidence-based practices are being implemented and the highest quality of service is being provided.”

For more information about Heart to Heart, visit https://www.cherokee-phhs.com/heart-to-heart/index.html.

– National Children’s Alliance release