The New York State Children’s Alliance, Inc. (NYSCA) is a statewide membership organization dedicated to helping local communities effectively respond to allegations of child abuse in a manner that puts the needs of children first. NYSCA was established in May 2000 to represent a network of Child Advocacy Centers (CACs) and Multidisciplinary Teams (MDTs) throughout New York State on a state and federal level. NYSCA provides training and technical assistance to members and supports the development, growth and continuation of CACs and MDTs throughout the state.
CACs provide a child friendly setting in which allegations of abuse are responded to collaboratively by a multidisciplinary team including members of law enforcement, child protective services, prosecutors, medical professionals, mental health providers, victim advocates and Center staff. Centers are based upon a national model designed to reduce the trauma experienced by child victims. From the time of the initial report, through the resolution of the case, the team will work together to conduct a thorough investigation, prosecute offenders and provide the necessary support services to the children and their non-offending family members.
An informal statewide network of Multidisciplinary Teams (MDTs) and Child Advocacy Centers (CACs) was established in 1996 through the initiative of the New York State Child Advocacy Resource and Consultation Center. This network served as a springboard for information sharing, networking and peer support for its members. In 1998, the network was granted Chapter status from the National Children’s Alliance and was subsequently able to obtain grant funding to support further development.
A steering committee was formed in 1999 to develop a strategic plan. Through this process, they recognized the need for the state chapter to have a more formal governance structure and, as such, NYSCA was created in May 2000. By-laws were developed and a Board of Directors was established. In 2011, NYSCA became an independent 501(c) 3 non-profit organization.
NYSCA works collaboratively with the National Children’s Alliance and the Northeast Regional Children’s Advocacy Center. These agencies share a similar mission related to serving victims of child abuse, but each offers a different focus.