Senator Coons Honored for Fighting to Save Children’s Advocacy Centers


The National Children’s Alliance honored U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) on Tuesday for his efforts to sustain Children’s Advocacy Centers in Delaware and around the nation. Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs) employ a multi-disciplinary team of trained professionals to conduct forensic interviews of children who have been victims of abuse. These interviews are designed to be admissible in court, preventing children from being re-traumatized by having to tell their stories multiple times. Although the success of these federal-state and public-private partnerships have earned them broad bipartisan support, Congressional authorization for Children’s Advocacy Centers lapsed in 2005, and the President’s proposed budgets for 2013 and 2014 have zeroed out federal funding.During an impassioned speech before the leaders of CAC facilities in Washington this morning for their annual conference, Senator Coons shifted focus to the heroic work being done at Children’s Advocacy Centers and pledged to keep fighting to protect it.“The work that you do is the work of healing,” Senator Coons said. “The work that you do is work that transforms victims into survivors, and survivors into advocates. Parents who are struggling deeply with how some such evil thing could happen under their own roof and who are struggling to make sense of the world, find some path forward. And children who have been robbed of that one greatest gift of God — innocence — find some adult who cares for them and who they can trust in the beginning of a journey out of victimization. You do awesome work. Just awesome work.”

“What you do every day stands up to evil,” the Senator continued. “There is no darker corner of the human psyche – there is no greater wrong — than robbing a child of innocence through sexual abuse. There is nothing worse in this world. It is critical that we sustain the authorization for your work. It is unthinkable to me that we have to fight for it. That this is not just done routinely by voice vote, but it isn’t. In this most dysfunctional Congress in modern times, we have to fight for it.”

“I can think of no one more deserving of this award,” Children’s Advocacy Centers of Delaware Executive Director Randy Williams said. “Senator Coons’ passion for the issue of child abuse prevention, his knowledge about the role of the Children’s Advocacy Centers and multidisciplinary teams in responding to allegations of child abuse and his steadfast support and advocacy for CACs across the country serves as an inspiration to all of us in the field. He is truly a champion.”

“During his time in the Senate, he has truly been a champion for children and a champion for the work of Children’s Advocacy Centers all over the U.S.,” National Children’s Alliance Executive Director Teresa Huizar said. “When our funding was zeroed out a couple of years ago, this really became something of personal interest to Senator Coons. It something he was deeply – not only ‘aware’ of – but the impact on Delaware on others, he understood right from the get-go and began to advocate not only with his Senate colleagues, but with the Administration on this issue. We truly appreciate all his incredible dedication.”

Senator Coons is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science, which controls appropriated funds to the Children’s Advocacy Centers. The full Appropriations Committee will mark up the FY2015 Commerce, Justice and Science spending bill on Thursday.

Senators Coons, Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), along with Senators Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) introduced legislation in December 2013 to reauthorize and strengthen the Victims of Child Abuse Act. Read more about the bill here:

National Children’s Alliance is the national association and accrediting body for the over 775 Children’s Advocacy Centers and 48 State Chapters serving each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Dedicated to helping local communities respond to allegations of child abuse in ways that are effective and efficient, and put the needs of child victims of abuse first, National Children’s Alliance provides support and advocacy to its accredited membership, as well as numerous developing centers, multidisciplinary teams and child abuse professionals around the country, and the world. As the national authority on multidisciplinary approaches to supporting child victims of abuse, the purpose of National Children’s Alliance is to empower local communities to provide comprehensive, coordinated and compassionate services to victims of child abuse. Founded in 1998, National Children’s Alliance provides accreditation opportunities, financial assistance, training, technical assistance, research and education to communities, child abuse professionals and children’s advocacy centers throughout the United States in support of child abuse intervention, advocacy and prevention.


By icgsuper

Jun 05, 2014


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