Children's Advocacy Center Directors' Guide to Quality Mental Healthcare

Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) directors working to meet the National Children’s Alliance (NCA) Accreditation Standard for mental health need a resource to help them on their journey to deliver the highest quality care to children and families. Especially for non-clinicians, ensuring that mental health services meet the necessary quality threshold can be challenging. How do you make the decision to offer mental health services provided through linkage agreements, or in-house? How do you monitor the quality of mental health services when you’re not in the room? What’s the difference between screening and assessment? How do these guide service provision decisions and treatment?

Fortunately, building the understanding needed to answer these questions—or to manage this complex process—doesn’t have to be overwhelming. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) and NCA are proud to present “2017 Edition: CAC Director’s Guide to Quality Mental Healthcare”, a training series comprising ten modules geared to help non-clinicians understand, evaluate, and manage mental health service delivery for CACs.

In this handy toolkit, you’ll find resources you need to meaningfully address the NCA, National Standards for Accreditation, Mental Health Standard. Each module contains an easy-to-understand overview of the topic, expert interviews that further drill down into the material, and links to practical tools and resources. These can be navigated in any order and you can access as much or as little of the information as you need. Modules include:

NCTSN and NCA are committed to continuing partnership to enhance the mental health service provision to traumatized children in a CAC setting. We hope you find this toolkit helpful in your important work helping children heal from the trauma they have experienced. And, for those needing more information on the purposes and benefits of evidence-based trauma treatments, please see the original 2008 edition of the CAC Director’s Guide to Mental Health Treatment as a primer.

A special thanks to all the 2017 edition workgroup members, authors, contributors, and expert interviewees. These include: Charles Wilson, Teresa Huizar, Catherine Bass, Libby Ralston, Ben Saunders, Jeff Wherry, Cambria Walsh, Michelle Miller, Lisa Conradi, Chris Kirchner, Rochelle Hanson, David LaBahn, Chris Newlin, Adam Rosenberg, Jennifer Hossler, Ginny Sprang, Carole Swiecicki, and Carrie Epstein.