By Jon King /

A Livingston County-based nonprofit that works to provide programs and services for victims and survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault has achieved national accreditation.

The National Children’s Alliance announced today that LACASA Center has earned national accreditation as a Children’s Advocacy Center. The NCA is the accrediting body for more than 900 Children’s Advocacy Centers throughout the nation, and according to a release certified members undergo an extensive application and site review process. Accreditation is also said the highest level of membership with the NCA and denotes excellence in responding to allegations of child abuse and putting the needs of child abuse victims first.

“This is a proud moment for our organization and the community,” said LACASA President & CEO Bobette Schrandt. “Our status as an accredited Child Advocacy Center ensures that child abuse victims from our community can receive all the services they need within one local setting,” said Schrandt. “This helps reduce further trauma for children and their families.”

Accredited members of the National Children’s Alliance utilize a multidisciplinary team approach to work collaboratively in child abuse investigations, forensic interviews, medical evaluations, victim support, therapeutic interventions, and child-focused advocacy.

“Our accreditation and affiliation with the NCA places us at the forefront of the child advocacy movement,” said Schrandt. “We will have access to the latest multidisciplinary practices and our staff will receive advanced training from the nation’s leading experts in the field. This partnership is a huge advantage for LACASA and the community.”

LACASA provides more than a dozen specialized services for victims of child abuse and child sexual abuse. Each year, the agency’s multidisciplinary Child Abuse Response Effort (CARE) conducts nearly 300 child abuse investigations, which equates to almost one child forensic interview per business day. And LACASA is the only agency in Livingston County to provide pediatric sexual assault exams at its Sexual Assault Response Center.

“As an organization dedicated to responding to child abuse, we recognize the importance of accreditation,” Schrandt said. “It not only validates our organization’s proven effective response to allegations of child abuse, but enables us to provide exceptional care for children who have experienced severe trauma.”

Agencies that earn accreditation with the NCA are required to meet stringent, best-practices protocols and achieve 10 standards of excellence. The application and review process is lengthy, and earning national accreditation can take years.

“LACASA Center is to be commended for its excellent work serving victims and survivors of child abuse,” said Teresa Huizar, executive director of the National Children’s Alliance. “Our goal is to ensure that every victim of child abuse has access to high quality services that result from professional collaboration with organizations like LACASA.”

For more information about LACASA and the services it provides for victims of child abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault, visit