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Team Talk Podcast

Every day, professionals from Children's Advocacy Centers and Multidisciplinary Teams do incredible work to help children and families heal from the trauma of child abuse.

NRCAC's Team Talk podcast highlights the efforts of these heroes throughout the northeast region and across the United States. New episodes are released on the first Thursday of the month.

EPISODES

MEET OUR HOST

Tony DeVincenzo headshotTony DeVincenzo is a Training Specialist with the Northeast Regional Children's Advocacy Center. Prior to his current position, Tony served as the Director of Programs and Multidisciplinary Team Coordinator from Deirdre’s House, the Child Advocacy Center for Morris County, New Jersey.

In that role, Tony oversaw a variety of programs and services offered at the Advocacy Center and coordinated the multidisciplinary response to child abuse in the community. He also conducted numerous professional trainings and community presentations related to child advocacy.

Before working in the child advocacy field, had a 25-year career in law enforcement in New Jersey.  He began his career as a patrol officer with the Roseland Police Department and then served as a Detective with the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office.  As a detective, Tony worked in a variety of units including juvenile/missing persons, and the major crimes unit, but spent a majority of his career investigating crimes against children.  During that time, he also served as a forensic interviewer and was an active member of the Morris County MDT.  Tony retired from law enforcement in 2013 as a Lieutenant supervising the Sex Crimes/Child Endangerment Unit, Internet Crimes Against Children, and Megan’s Law Unit.

GET INVOLVED

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About

The Northeast Regional Children’s Advocacy Center (NRCAC) enhances the important work of State Chapters, CACs, and MDTs. We provide boots-on-the-ground support and stay attuned to the needs of each of the 9 states in our region.  

Every State Chapter, CAC, and MDT in the northeast region is unique. Whether you are part of a fully staffed Chapter, or a brand new CAC, NRCAC meets you where you are and equips you with the training and technical assistance you need. We also facilitate connection and collaboration with our region and beyond.  

Training image

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) established four Regional Children’s Advocacy Centers in 1995. Since our inception, the Philadelphia Children’s Alliance has served as our operators and grantee. As our regions grow, we are growing along with them to adapt and meet the needs of professionals helping children heal. By working together and providing you with the support you need, we can help end the cycle of abuse. 

 

 

 

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

- Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

Our Partners

NRCAC is one of four regional centers that provides training and technical assistance resources for communities to develop multidisciplinary teams, Children’s Advocacy Centers, and state Chapter organizations of Children's Advocacy Centers.

Regional Partners

MRCAC logoMidwest Regional Children's Advocacy
Center (MRCAC)

www.mrcac.org
MRCAC is located at Children’s Minnesota in St. Paul, MN and provides support to the states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.


SRCAC logo

Southern Regional Children's Advocacy Center (SRCAC)
www.srcac.org
SRCAC is located at the National Children’s Advocacy Center in Huntsville, AL and provides support to the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.


WRCAC logo

Western Regional Children's Advocacy
Center (WRCAC)

www.westernregionalcac.org
WRCAC is located at the Chadwick Center for Children and Families in San Diego, CA and provides support to the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.


Regional Map of United States
Regional CAC Centers:

NRCAC: Philadelphia, PA
MRCAC: St. Paul, MN
SRCAC: Huntsville, AL
WRCAC: San Diego, CA

National Partners

OJJDP logoOffice of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP)
www.ojjdp.gov
OJJDP TTA360 Requests
OJJDP provides national leadership, coordination, and resources to prevent and respond to youth delinquency and victimization. OJJDP supports states and communities in their efforts to develop and implement effective and coordinated prevention and intervention programs and to improve the juvenile justice system so that it protects public safety, holds offenders accountable, and provides treatment and rehabilitative services tailored to the needs of juveniles and their families.


National Children's Advocacy CenterNational Children’s Advocacy Center (NCAC)
nationalcac.org
NCAC is a non-profit organization that provides training, prevention, and treatment services to fight child abuse and neglect. Including CALiO, Child Abuse Library Online.


National Children's Alliance logoNational Children’s Alliance (NCA)
www.nationalchildrensalliance.org
NCA is the national association and accrediting body for Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs) and provides support, advocacy, quality assurance, and national leadership for CACs.


Zero Abuse ProjectZero Abuse Project (ZAP)
https://www.zeroabuseproject.org/
ZAP is a 501(c)(3) organization committed to transforming institutions in order to effectively prevent, recognize, and respond to child sexual abuse.


NCJTC logoNational Criminal Justice Center, Fox Valley Technical College (NCJTC)
www.ncjtc.org
NCJTC of Fox Valley Technical College is a recognized leader in high-quality training and technical assistance for public safety professionals across the nation.


National Native Children's Trauma Center (NNCTC)
https://www.nnctc.org/
As a Category II Treatment and Service Adaptation Center within the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, NNCTC is focused on increasing service providers' ability to respond to the trauma-related needs of American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) children and youth in culturally appropriate ways.

 

"If we don't stand up for children, then we don't stand for much."

- Marian Wright Edelman

Our Team

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR  

Headshot of Benita Williams, MSW, LSW.

Benita Williams, MSW, LSW, is a Pennsylvania licensed social worker who has over 28 years of experience in the field of Child Welfare. Benita earned her Bachelor of Social Work and Masters of Social Work degrees from Temple University. For 20 years Benita worked for the Philadelphia’s Department of Human Services (DHS) in a variety of positions starting out as a Social Worker and worked her way up to the third highest ranked position at DHS as Operations Director. Most recently she served as the Vice President of CUA and Child Welfare Services for Bethanna, a private Child Welfare agency.  bwilliams@philachildrensalliance.org

PROJECT DIRECTOR

Headshot of Teresa Smith, LSW, PhDTeresa Smith, LSW, PhD, is the Project Director for the Northeast Regional CAC. Teresa joined the NRCAC staff in June 2011 after more than twenty-five years of employment with Pinnacle Health Systems in Harrisburg, PA. Teresa was a Co-founder and Director of the Children’s Resource Center at Pinnacle Health Systems, an accredited CAC, and has served as President and Executive Board Member of the PA Chapter of CACs and MDTs, an accredited Chapter of the National Children’s Alliance. Teresa’s Doctoral Dissertation involved research on multidisciplinary child abuse team leaders and case reviews. Teresa@nrcac.org

TRAINING SPECIALISTS

Headshot of Sue Ascione, MS.Sue Ascione, MS, is a Training Specialist with Northeast Regional Children’s Advocacy Center. Sue provides training and technical assistance to developing and established CACs and MDTs in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Prior to her joining NRCAC, she was the Executive Director of the CAC in Lawrence County, PA for 15 years and served in several capacities (child/adult therapist, supervisor, and assistant director) at the Crisis Shelter of Lawrence County for 13 years. As a member of the PA Chapter of CACs and MDTs, Sue helped develop and implement the Continuous Practice Improvement Program (CPIP) in Pennsylvania and mentored several CPIP teams. She also helped develop and implement the TECH Smart program designed to help parents keep their children safe in the digital world. Sue has trained on many topics, including the Role of MDT coordinator, Steps to Building a CAC, minimal facts interviewing and the effects of domestic violence and sexual abuse on children. Sue@nrcac.org

 

Headshot of Michele Mullen, LCSW.

Michele Mullen, LCSW, is a Training Specialist with Northeast Regional Children’s Advocacy Center. Michele provides training and technical assistance to developing and established CACs and MDTs in the 9 northeast states. Michele creates and delivers local, state, and regional trainings on Victim Advocacy: Working with Children, Caregivers and the MDT; Vicarious Trauma/Building Resiliency for Child Abuse Professionals; National Children’s Alliance (NCA) Standards for Accreditation; and Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC)  Michele also conducts onsite training and consultation with multidisciplinary teams and CAC staff regarding Multidisciplinary Team Development, Strategic Planning and Board Development.  Michele works with the NRCAC team to coordinate agency branding, webpage, marketing materials, and social media presence. She is the responsible for creation, design and edits of educational videos to share nationally with CACs:  (1) The Importance of the Medical Exam; (2) The Role of the Victim Advocate; (3) Building a Better Case Review (https://www.nrcac.org/resources).  Michele received the Maine Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers’ Children’s Advocate Award in April 2020. Michele joined NRCAC in September 2014 after 17 years with the Norfolk District Attorney’s Office/Children’s Advocacy Center in Massachusetts. Michele began as a Victim Advocate before moving to the CAC Director role and was dedicated to the development of a fully accredited Children’s Advocacy Center in 2010. Prior to working at the DA’s Office, she worked with domestic violence survivors. Michele@nrcac.org.

 

Headshot of Tony DeVincenzo, M.A.

Tony DeVincenzo is a Training Specialist with the Northeast Regional Children’s Advocacy Center. In that role, he provides training and technical assistance to Child Advocacy Centers and Child Abuse Multidisciplinary Teams throughout the Northeast Region of the US. In addition to his work with individual Advocacy Centers and Multidisciplinary Teams, Tony has presented workshops on a variety of topics related to Child Advocacy at regional and national conferences.

Prior to his current position, Tony served as the Director of Programs and Multidisciplinary Team Coordinator from Deirdre’s House, the Child Advocacy Center for Morris County, New Jersey.  In that role, Tony oversaw a variety of programs and services offered at the Advocacy Center and coordinated the multidisciplinary response to child abuse in the community. He also conducted numerous professional trainings and community presentations related to child advocacy.

Before working in the child advocacy field, had a 25-year career in law enforcement in New Jersey.  He began his career as a patrol officer with the Roseland Police Department and then served as a Detective with the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office.  As a detective, Tony worked in a variety of units including juvenile/missing persons, and the major crimes unit, but spent a majority of his career investigating crimes against children.  During that time, he also served as forensic interviewer and was an active member of the Morris County MDT.  Tony retired from law enforcement in 2013 as a Lieutenant supervising the Sex Crimes/Child Endangerment Unit, Internet Crimes Against Children, and Megan’s Law Unit.

In addition to his law enforcement career and his roles in Child Advocacy, Tony is an adjunct faculty member at local colleges teaching courses related to Criminal Justice and Child Advocacy. Tony@nrcac.org

PROJECT INITIATIVES SPECIALIST

Ilana Lezama-Beausejour headshot

Ilana Lezama-Beausejour is the Project Initiatives Specialist for the Northeast Regional Children's Advocacy Center. In this position, Ilana will be working on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives and annual data needs assessment projects. Ilana has served in the field of Social Work for several years in different capacities, from working with children within the child welfare system on behavioral therapy modalities to training foster parents on social-emotional skills and diversity. She has worked within the Juvenile Justice System and devised a program to serve vulnerable youth. She has a passion for making an impact on individuals and enhancing systems that serve people. Ilana firmly believes her purpose is to make a difference in the lives and organizations that she encounters by extending herself as a beacon of light. Ilana has obtained her Master's degree in Social Work from Fordham University with a dual concentration in Clinical Work and Organizational Leadership. Ilana@nrcac.org

PROJECT MANAGER

Headshot of Katelyn Waltimyer.Katelyn Waltimyer is the Project Manager for the Northeast Regional Children's Advocacy Center. In this position, Katelyn fills a wide range of administrative roles, with a focus on training management, event production, and grant logistics. Prior to joining the NRCAC team in 2018, Katelyn obtained a bachelor's degree in Music Education and a minor in Theatre from Penn State University and served as a daycare and K-5 music teacher. Katelyn@nrcac.org

PROJECT COORDINATOR

Headshot of Justine Chong.Justine Chong is the Project Coordinator with Northeast Regional Children’s Advocacy Center. In this position, Justine facilitates behind-the-scenes logistics for NRCAC. She has more than 6 years of software training experience with non-profits and private sector organizations. In her previous roles, she has delivered live and virtual trainings to a global audience. Justine@nrcac.org

COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

Headshot of Myia Hill.Myia Hill is the Communications Manager with Northeast Regional Children's Advocacy Center. In this position, Myia manages NRCAC's branding, marketing materials, website, and social media presence. She has worked in the non-profit sector for over 9 years in the primary areas of development, communications, and marketing. Myia obtained her bachelor’s degree in Marketing from SUNY Oswego. Myia@nrcac.org

 

 

 

 

 

“Enhancing outcomes in CACs and State Chapters through the implementation of collaborative projects and initiatives.”

– Training staff of four regional CAC’s