Cherish earns National Children’s Alliance accreditation

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By Mark Ambrogi

Cherish achieved a strong affirmation that it is performing its child advocacy role at the highest levels.

Gamble

Cherish has been awarded accreditation by National Children’s Alliance following an extensive application and site review process. The National Children’s Alliance is the accrediting agency for Children’s Advocacy Centers (CAC) across the nation. NCA awards various levels of accreditation and membership to centers responding to allegations of child abuse in ways that are effective and efficient.

A nonprofit formed in 2009, the Noblesville-based Cherish serves as the child advocacy center, providing abuse intervention and prevention, for Hamilton County. Their services include child forensic interviews, advocacy, community education, trauma therapy intervention, and psycho-educational groups.

According to the release, the NCA awards various levels of accreditation and membership to centers responding to allegations of child abuse in ways that are effective and efficient, and put the needs of child victims of abuse first. Accreditation is the highest level of membership with NCA and denotes excellence in service provision.

Cherish executive director Wendy Gamble said it is a huge accomplishment for her organization.

“This is very rare,” Gamble said. “There are only six (accredited centers) in the state. We’re the only one in the area. This says we are following all the steps correctly at the highest standards nationwide. It’s a very big boost for our whole team.”

Gamble said the accreditation helps with credibility with law enforcement, prosecutors and judges.

“We were rated at the A-plus level, there was nothing recommended that we work on,” Gamble said.

Cherish had been awarded NCA associate member status in late 2015.

Gamble said it took nine months for the organization to be accredited.

“They go through everything that you are possibly doing,” Gamble said. “Lots of places have the site review and there are tons of things that they don’t pass and they go through that process.”

In March, Cherish will start its Hope for Children campaign.

The organization plans to roll out ways the public can help play a critical role in a child’s journey to finding healing, Gamble said. The support will go directly towards providing trauma therapy for children who have been victimized by abuse. Gamble said information will be available soon on campaign the website, CherishCAC.org.


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