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Child sexual abuse is an issue no one likes to think about. But it happens everywhere, in all types of families and neighborhoods. Children who have been sexually abused have been traumatized and their sense of trust, safety, and self may be compromised. The system designed to respond and protect them can sometimes be so difficult to navigate that it adds to their trauma, rather than relieving it. The Children’s Alliance exists to create a more effective, caring response to children who have been sexually abused. We are dedicated to providing justice and healing for sexually abused children. We work to protect victims, to end the cycle of abuse, and to improve the quality of the investigations.
The Philadelphia Children's Alliance (PCA) was founded in 1989, became a full member of the National Children’s Alliance (NCA) in 1992, and was accredited by NCA in 2001. Today, PCA meets all NCA standards and is, in fact, a national best standards model for peer agencies nationwide. Over the past 20 years, the Philadelphia Children’s Alliance has advocated for a team-based approach, built cooperative relationships, introduced efficiencies into the system thus providing rapid response, and effectively changed how abused children are served and cared for in Philadelphia.
The Philadelphia Children's Alliance (PCA) coordinates a multi-agency, interdisciplinary response to promote healing and justice for victims of child sexual abuse in Philadelphia. Our approach coordinates the efforts of all agencies that are mandated to investigate; we work in partnership with the Philadelphia Police Department's Special Victims Unit, the Department of Human Services, the District Attorney’s Office, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the Support Center for Child Advocates, Women Organized Against Rape, and the JJ Peters Institute. PCA’s most recent Strategic Plan calls for capacity-building so that by 2015 we will have the capacity to respond to 100% of alleged sexual abuse reports in Philadelphia. As the only primary intervention organization in Philadelphia working with child victims of sexual abuse, this mandate to increase capacity is driven by a critical need for PCA’s services to help protect the children and families we serve, and so that kids can quickly get the help they need to live safe, fulfilling lives.
The Philadelphia Children’s Alliance, an independent non-profit organization, promotes healing and justice for child sexual abuse victims in Philadelphia by conducting state of the art forensic interviews, providing victim support services, collaborating with other agencies and leading the development of an integrated response.
Every child sexual abuse victim in Philadelphia will be referred to the Philadelphia Children’s Alliance for justice and healing services through a coordinated response system. PCA will offer its high quality services in an accessible, state-of-the-art facility that maximizes integration with collaborating agencies. PCA will promote these practices locally and nationally.
We often find it hard to explain everything that we do at PCA. Our agency video features interviews from our staff and partners who all play a role in PCA being able to deliver a comprehensive approach that prevents the child from being re-traumatized. As you will see, we walk through the entire process showing how our team meets before and after forensic interviews to determine how to best help the child and their family and describing the role our staff plays as forensic interviewers and victim advocates. We encourage you to watch this video and share it with others to help us spread awareness of our mission to provide every victim of child sexual abuse in Philadelphia with the Children's Alliance experience.
Efficacy of the CAC Model - Why Child Advocacy Centers Work
Strategic Goals for 2012-2014
- Work with the multidisciplinary team to ensure a collaborative process, including a PCA forensic interview, for all sexually abused children in Philadelphia.
- Ensure that all sexually abused children in Philadelphia have timely access to support, treatment and healing services.
- Provide training, technical assistance and support to advocacy centers, multidisciplinary team members and other organizations in order to promote positive outcomes for children and families throughout the system.
- Achieve financial sustainability and enhanced organizational visibility in order to fully implement the strategic plan.
- Optimize overall organizational excellence.
Working with DHS, the Police and the DA’s office, Philadelphia Children’s Alliance (PCA) provides a coordinated response to allegations of abuse and provides forensic interviews and other support services for the city’s victims of child sexual abuse. Because of PCA’s expertise and knowledge, sometimes other child victims of traumatic situations are brought to the facility to be interviewed by PCA’s highly trained forensic interviewers. It is PCA’s policy to protect the privacy and identity of the victims we serve. Therefore, we cannot verify who comes here and we cannot comment on specific cases. Thank you for your understanding. -The Philadelphia Children’s Alliance
Ceisler Media is handling media inquiries for PCA. Please direct media inquiries to: Dennille Schuler, Ceisler Media & Issue Advocacy, 215-735-6760
Why this is so important to understand.