Although Alabama’s child advocacy centers, and the Network’s administrative office, are all non-profit agencies with independent 501(c)(3) tax statuses, the Alabama legislature is one of our governing bodies in that there is state law that dictates membership eligibility, funding allocations, and the consequences of failing to meet Network standards.
In order to become eligible for a full membership in the Alabama Network of Children's Advocacy Centers, Incorporated, child advocacy centers in this state shall:
(1) Be a private, non-profit incorporated agency.
(2) Have a neutral, child-focused facility where joint Department of Human Resources and law enforcement interviews take place with children in appropriate cases of suspected child sexual and physical abuse. All multidisciplinary agencies shall have a place to interact with the child as investigative or treatment needs require.
(3) Have a minimum designated staff that is supervised and approved by the local board of directors.
(4) Having a Multidisciplinary Case Review Team that meets on a regularly scheduled basis or as the case load of the community requires. The team shall consist of representatives from the District Attorney, the Department of Human Resources, mental health, law enforcement, and the Child Advocacy Center staff. Medical personnel and a victim's advocate may be part of the team.
(5) Provide case tracking of child abuse cases seen through the center. A center shall also collect data on: the number of child abuse cases seen at the center by sex, race, age, and other relevant data; the number of cases referred for prosecution; and the number of cases referred for mental health therapy.
(6) Provide referrals for medical exams and mental health therapy. The center shall provide follow-up on cases referred for mental health therapy.
(7) Provide training for various disciplines in the community that deal with child abuse.
(8) Have an interagency commitment covering those aspects of agency participation in a multidisciplinary approach to the handling of child sexual and serious physical abuse cases.
(9) Provide assurance that volunteers at the center are trained and screened by appropriate resources.
(Acts 1992, No. 92-558, §1.)
Allocation of funds to eligible centers.
For the purposes of this section, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
(1) ASSOCIATE MEMBER CENTER. A child advocacy center that is working towards full membership status and has been approved by the network for associate membership status.
(2) FULL MEMBER CENTER. A child advocacy center that meets the standards of Section 26-16-70, and is certified by the network as a full member.
(3) PILOT PROJECT. A program initiated by the board of directors of the network to serve children in underserved areas of the state.
Initial funding; failure to meet standards.
Any new child advocacy center within the State of Alabama that desires to become certified by the Network may request and receive initial funding if approved by the Board of Directors of the Network. Any center failing to meet the standards established in Section 26-16-70 for a period of one year or longer shall not be eligible to receive state funding. (Acts 1992, No. 92-558, §3.)
Allocation of funds by network board of directors.
The Network Board of Directors shall be responsible for allocating state appropriated funds to existing and new child advocacy centers which meet the standards of Section 26-16-70, pursuant to the provisions of Sections 26-16-71 and 26-16-72. (Acts 1992, No. 92-558, p. 1161, §4; Act 2001-845, p. 651, §1.)
The Alabama Network of Children's Advocacy Centers is an Accredited Chapter of the National Children's Alliance.