The National Children’s Advocacy Center (NCAC), located in Huntsville, Alabama, revolutionized the United States’ response to child sexual abuse. Since its creation in 1985, the NCAC has served as a model for the 1000+ Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs) now operating in the United States and in more than 34 countries throughout the world, with 9 more currently in development.
The CAC model of a Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) approach, developed through the vision of Former Congressman Cramer and a group of key individuals, pulled together law enforcement, criminal justice, child protective services, and medical and mental health workers onto one coordinated team. Thus, the National Children’s Advocacy Center was born!
After developing its innovative CAC/MDT approach on the local level, the NCAC earned a national reputation and began to train others to deal effectively with this critical problem. Through its influence in training, communities across the country and across the world began to model their child abuse programs after the CAC/MDT approach created at the NCAC.
Training for child abuse response professionals began in February 1985 with the Southeast Symposium on Child Sexual Abuse, with 367 attendees from states in the southeastern U.S., and has now grown into the International Symposium on Child Abuse, with 1,586 attendees from 49 States, the District of Columbia, and 9 foreign countries in March 2019.
In addition to Symposium, the NCAC Training Center trains thousands of people each year, from the United States and around the world on how to recognize and support maltreated children. More than 158,697 child abuse professionals from all 50 states and 179 countries have been trained by the NCAC since 1985.
Through the work of its Prevention Department, Intervention Department, MDT, Training Department and the Southern Regional Children’s Advocacy Center program, the NCAC serves as a beacon of hope for more than 10,000 child abuse victims every year.
Robert E. Bud Cramer AL
In 1985, Former Congressman Robert E. "Bud" Cramer (AL), who was then a District Attorney in Madison County, Alabama, saw the need to create a better system to help abused children. The social service and the criminal justice systems, at the time, were not working together in an effective manner that children could trust, adding to the children's emotional distress, and creating a segmented, repetitious, and often frightening experience for the child victims.