Victim Advocacy Training

Victim Advocacy in the Child Advocacy Center

An investigation of child abuse and possible legal proceedings are stressful for child victims and their families. As the criminal justice system was designed for adults, it can be a confusing, frightening and frustrating experience for a child and their family. Professionals have expressed concern that a child may experience secondary trauma from the very process originally intended to be helpful and protective.

Victim Advocates are uniquely positioned to provide information and support to children and families who often have a host of concerns and needs during the legal process. Victim advocates provide crisis intervention, education about the investigation and criminal justice process, ongoing support and help to connect families with resources.

This training is designed for Victim Advocates who are working with children and families within a Child Advocacy Center setting and focuses on the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary for this important job. The training will include foundational sessions on understanding the criminal justice system, dynamics of child abuse, crisis development and resolution, effective listening techniques, the impact of trauma on a child, the rights of crime victims, cultural considerations and intervention strategies. All foundational sessions are presented by experienced professionals currently working in the field of child abuse intervention and prevention at the National Children's Advocacy Center.

Victim Advocacy Training includes:

Foundational sessions:

  • Introduction to victim advocacy
  • Dynamics of child abuse
  • Crisis development, intervention, and resolution
  • Trauma, grief, and secondary trauma
  • Effective collaboration with the multidisciplinary team
  • Support and advocacy for caretakers
  • Cultural considerations

Skill-based sessions:

  • Crisis intervention
  • Court preparation
  • Facilitation of caregiver education/support groups.


  • Linda Cordisco Steele, M.Ed, LPC, Senior Trainer and Curriculum Chair, National Children's Advocacy Center
  • Kim Madden, M.Ed, LPC, Trainer/Child Forensic Interview Specialist, National Childres Advocacy Center
  • Karen Hangartner, LGSW, Project Director, Southern Regional Children's Advocacy Center
  • Melissa Dickey, Outreach Coordinator, Southern Regional Children's Advocacy Center
  • Paula Wolfteich, PhD, Intervention and Clinical Director, National Children's Advocacy Center
  • Joshua Ballinger, JD, Assistant District Attorney, Madison County District Attorney's Office
2017 Dates

February 22-24, 2017, Huntsville, AL
August 15-17, 2017, Huntsville, AL
November 7-9, 2017, Huntsville, AL

Who Should Attend?

This training is specifically designed for Victim Advocates working in a Children's Advocacy Center who have two or less years of experience.

Seats in this training are intended for professionals currently working as part of an investigative agency, a multidisciplinary team (MDT), or a children’s advocacy center (CAC). If any seats are available, then others may attend the training. The NCAC reserves the right to refund the registration of anyone who is not currently working as part of an investigative agency, a MDT, or CAC, to ensure that currently practicing professionals receive the training they need.

International Training Participants

The NCAC is often requested to provide a letter of invitation to prospective attendees from international countries. In order to provide this letter of invitation, the NCAC requires specific documentation from the prospective attendee. List of requirements.


Training is 3 full days.


Early Registration Fee: $749
Standard Registration Fee: $849

There is a 25% discount for registrants from developing countries. Please contact training coordinator for additional information.

For more information, email Sarah Hubbard at or call 256-327-3876.

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