Child Advocacy Center Earns Accreditation

January 10, 2012

Chloe's Garden at the Cooper-Anthony
Mercy Child Advocacy Center.

Cooper-Anthony Mercy Child Advocacy Center at St. Joseph’s Mercy in Hot Springs has been named an Accredited Member by the National Children’s Alliance following and an extensive application and site review process.

Cooper-Anthony Mercy Child Advocacy Center has been awarded the highest level of membership with National Children’s Alliance, which is the accrediting agency for Children’s Advocacy Centers.

Cooper-Anthony Mercy Child Advocacy Center is Arkansas’ first hospital-based facility for child abuse and neglect. It was founded by St. Joseph’s Mercy in 2003 after it was learned Garland County was part of one of Arkansas’ top three judicial districts in the filing of child maltreatment reports. The center is dedicated to providing comprehensive, coordinated and compassionate services to victims of child abuse.

“The Cooper-Anthony Mercy Child Advocacy Center is to be commended for its excellent work serving victims of child abuse,” said Teresa Huizar, Executive Director of National Children’s Alliance. “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.”

National Children's Alliance was founded in 1987 by former Congressman Bud Cramer, then District Attorney of Madison County Alabama, in response to the needs of a growing number of facility-based child abuse intervention programs and the demand for guidance from grassroots organizations working with child victims. Today, NCA is a membership organization providing services to more than 700 Children’s Advocacy Centers across the United States, as well asnumerous developing centers, multidisciplinary teams and child abuse professionals.

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 child-focused setting.

“As a center dedicated to responding to child abuse, we recognize the importance of accreditation from National Children’s Alliance and supporting the Multidisciplinary Team approach,” said Janice McCutcheon, director of the Cooper-Anthony Mercy Child Advocacy Center. “Accreditation not only validates our organization’s proven effective approach to responding to allegations of child abuse, but also provides consistency across the child advocacy center movement as a whole.”

St. Joseph’s Mercy is a not-for-profit, faith-based health facility with 27 medical clinics serving the healthcare needs of Hot Springs and its surrounding communities since 1888. It is designated as the southwest region’s only Level II Trauma Center and the region’s most preferred provider of health care services.

Mercy is the eighth largest Catholic health care system in the U.S. and serves more than 3 million people annually. Mercy includes 31 hospitals, more than 200 outpatient facilities, 38,000 co-workers and 1,500 integrated physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. For more about Mercy, visit

National Children’s Alliance is a national association 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. 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.


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