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.

NCA Standards of Accreditation

The NCAC Victim Advocacy Training meets the 2017 National Children's Alliance Standards for Accreditation.

Course Topics

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
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.

  • Tim Douthit, JD, Assistant District Attorney, Madison County District Attorney's Office
  • Karen Hangartner, LGSW, Project Director, Southern Regional Children's Advocacy Center
  • Kim Madden, M.Ed, LPC, Trainer/Child Forensic Interview Specialist, National Children's Advocacy Center
  • Gina South, J.D.
  • Linda Cordisco Steele, M.Ed, LPC, Senior Trainer and Curriculum Chair, National Children's Advocacy Center
  • Jana Thomas, LBSW, Family Advocate, National Children's Advocacy Center
  • Paula Wolfteich, PhD, Intervention and Clinical Director, National Children's Advocacy Center
Length/Certificate of Attendance

Training at the NCAC in Huntsville, AL is 3 days from 8:00am to 5:00pm each training day.

A certificate of attendance will be awarded to participants who attend the training in its entirety.

Meals and Ground Transportation
  • One Breakfast Voucher per room at the NCAC Host Hotel full-service restaurant for each day of training
  • Catered lunches provided for each day of training
  • Complimentary airport shuttle service available from NCAC Host Hotel
  • Shuttle service between hotel and training center provided for trainees who stay at the NCAC Host Hotel
Tuition Cost
  • Early Registration Fee: $749 (applies only to payments received by the early payment deadline)
  • Standard Registration Fee: $849

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

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.

2018 Victim Advocacy Training Schedule


February 27-March 1, 2018 - Huntsville, AL
August 14-16, 2018 - Huntsville, AL
December 11-13, 2018 - Huntsville, AL

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



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