Listen and Learn: A Process for Initiating Collaboration between Tribal Communities and Children’s Advocacy Centers

In May 2019, SRCAC published the article, “Listen and Learn: A Process for Initiating Collaboration between Tribal Communities and Children’s Advocacy Centers,” co-authored by SRCAC Regional Training Specialist Jerri Sites, MA and Gina South, JD. Contributors to the article included Kathryn England-Aytes, EdD and Paul Steele, PhD.
Gina South, the former State Director of the Alabama Network of Child Advocacy Centers (ANCAC), developed the concept of the Listen and Learn. Gina is an active board member of the Native American Children’s Alliance (NACA), which is an independent, non-profit organization committed to helping end child abuse and neglect in Indian Country by providing training and technical assistance to tribal communities and child abuse professionals nationwide. In July 2017, in collaboration with the Poarch Creek Band of Indians and ANCAC, the first Listen and Learn was piloted with much success in Alabama. 
A second Listen and Learn took place in May 2018, in Wyandotte, Oklahoma, and was a collaborative effort among SRCAC; NACA; Wyandotte, Quapaw, and Seneca-Cayuga Nations; and the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Oklahoma. Subsequently, in 2019, the Western Regional Children’s Advocacy Center and the Northeast Regional Children’s Advocacy Center have collaborated with NACA to facilitate Listen and Learns within their respective regions. 

The two primary goals of the project include: 

1.  Open the conversation among tribal officials, multidisciplinary team (MDT) members, and Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) staff to increase access to services to Native children.

2.  Increase the collaboration among identified entities to make CAC services available to Native children. 

The beauty of the Listen and Learn concept is that it can be tailored to the needs of the community. NACA will work closely with the Regional CAC and the CAC state Chapter of the requesting community or tribe to identify gaps in service, then NACA will connect directly with local agencies and tribal communities to determine services that are in place, learn about strengths and challenges they are facing, and strategize how to move forward to work better together. Costs associated with organizing a Listen and Learn can be covered through grant funds and in-kind donations from partners (meeting space, administrative support). 

The four Regional CACs (Midwest, Northeast, Southern, and Western) plan to continue to promote Listen and Learn programs and partner with NACA and state Chapters when these programs take place within their designated states. 

For more information, contact SRCAC Regional Training Specialist Jerri Sites at
We are pleased to welcome Janice Dinkins-Davidson as the new Chapter Director in Virginia!
Janice Dinkins-Davidson is the new Executive Director of Children’s Advocacy Centers of Virginia (CACVA), replacing Wanda Ostrander who retired in July after leading the Chapter since 2013. Prior to joining CACVA, Janice directed human services agencies for 22 years, 17 of those years with Children’s Trust. In 17 years with Children’s Trust, she established the Child Advocacy Center in Roanoke, VA. She has continued to build on the child abuse prevention efforts that were the foundation of the organization by adding a Healthy Families Program, leading a successful merger with the Court-Appointed Special Advocate organization, facilitating the “adoption” of the Child Advocacy Center in the New River Valley, and expanding Children’s Trust services to include family mediation. Today, Children’s Trust has an accredited CAC, a recognized satellite CAC, and two other centers working toward satellite status with NCA. Together, they serve 11 jurisdictions and 3,500 square miles of Virginia. For the past ten years, Janice has served on the Board of Directors of CACVA and was its Chair for five of those years. 

September 10-12, 2019
Huntsville, AL

$49.00/per person

Registration deadline is August 13.
Travel assistance is still available for up to 30 registrants from the Southern region. See our website for details.
Training Opportunity
SafePath Children's Advocacy Center presents:

Body Centered Play Therapy with
Traumatized Clients

September 13, 2019
Marietta, GA

Terry Kottman, Ph.D., Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor, NCC, LMHC, founded The Encouragement Zone, a center where she provides play therapy training, life coaching, "playshops" for women, and play therapy supervision. She regularly presents entertaining and engaging experiential workshops on play therapy, adventure therapy, activity-based counseling, counseling for children, adolescents, and their parents, consultation with teachers, and coaching adults.


The NCAC's  Virtual Training Center  (VTC) offers hundreds of online courses and webinars, many of them centered around creating effective MDTs. You must have a login to access the VTC, but it is free to sign up .

Below is a sample of MDT-specific topics:

View other MDT resources from Southern Regional.
Employment Opportunity

Children's Advocacy Centers of Georgia (CACGA) is seeking a skilled, dynamic Chief Executive Officer with a proven record of success and an interest in helping CACGA fulfill its strategic vision and mission.
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Spotlight is a newsletter prepared by Southern Regional CAC that focuses on current topics, ideas, trainings, and conferences which are designed to further the knowledge and practice of CAC professionals within the region. We hope you find the information helpful! Let us know if you have specific topics you’d like to see in future newsletters.
This publication is funded through grant #2016-CI-FX-K002 from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Neither the U.S. Department of Justice nor any of its components, operate, control, are responsible for, or necessarily endorse, this publication (including, without limitation, its content, technical infrastructure, and policies, and any services or tools provided).
Southern Regional CAC | #justtryingtohelpsomekids | Vol. 2 No. 8: Aug 2019