Background

ACAC is a support and information network for counselors who work with children and adolescents. The American Counseling Association’s Code of Ethics (2014) and the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs standards (2009) charges counselors with enhancing human development across the lifespan; therefore, ACAC supports counselors working with children and adolescents from birth through adolescent. The breadth of this developmental range offers its own unique experiences and challenges. ACAC serves to bring a community of counselors together who strive to offer best practices to this underserved and distinct population.

Goals

The goals of ACAC are:

  • Promote a greater awareness, advocacy, and understanding of children and adolescents among members of the counseling profession and related helping fields.
  • Advance developmentally appropriate prevention and intervention strategies for counseling children and adolescents.
  • Support counseling and education with parents of children and adolescents.
  • Foster counselor consultation with caretakers and other professionals who are involved in the lives of children and adolescents.
  • Provide professional development activities to improve education and training of counselors who work with children and adolescents.
  • Disseminate educational and professional materials with the purpose of raising the standards of practice for children and adolescents in counseling, psychotherapy, and mental health.
  • Encourage involvement and communication of ACAC members to share knowledge and support for improvement of mental health services to children and adolescents.

Timeline & History

Compiled by Past-Presidents Council:
Randy Astramovich, Evette Horton, Elsa Leggett, Gail Roaten, Dee Ray, and Catherine Tucker

March 2009

First meeting of the Professional Counselors in Schools Interest Network at the American Counseling Association Conference in Charlotte, NC, co-chaired by Dr. Randy Astramovich and Dr. Wendy Hoskins. During the meeting, several interest network members voiced concerns about the lack of a child and adolescent counseling “home” for mental health counselors and school counselors.

June 2009

Professional Counselors in Schools ACA Interest Network members identified a goal of developing a child and adolescent counseling division within the American Counseling Association

April 2010

Dr. Randy Astramovich, Dr. Wendy Hoskins, Dr. Dee Ray, Dr. Michael Moyer, Dr. Elsa Soto- Leggett, and Dr. Dale-Elizabeth Pehrsson filed an application with the American Counseling Association for the establishment of a new organizational affiliate within the organization, to be called the Association for Child & Adolescent Counseling (ACAC). The application included a petition of support of over 450 counselors across the U.S. who supported the development of ACAC.

October 2010

The American Counseling Association Governing Council votes to approve ACAC as an organizational affiliate of ACA. The founding ACAC board included:

Randall L. Astramovich, Ph.D., ACAC President Wendy Hoskins, Ph.D., ACAC Treasurer
Dee Ray, Ph.D., ACAC Secretary
Michael Moyer, Ph.D., ACAC Trustee Position 1
Elsa Soto-Leggett, Ph.D., ACAC Trustee Position 2 Dale-Elizabeth Pehrsson, Ed. D., ACAC Trustee Position 3

April 2011

The development of ACAC is featured in a Counseling Today article. https://ct.counseling.org/2011/04/761/

February 5, 2013

ACAC Board formally requests full division status.
Association for Child and Adolescent Counseling Board at the time included: Dee C. Ray, President
Elsa Soto-Leggett, President-Elect
Randy Astramovich, Past President
Evette Horton, Secretary
Michael Moyer, Treasurer
Yumiko Ogawa, Trustee
Phyllis Post, Trustee
Gail Roaten, Trustee
Hayley Stulmaker, Board Student Liaison
March 19, 2013
ACA Governing Council approves ACAC as a National ACA Division!

And there was cake!

January 2015

Established professional Journal Journal of Child and Adolescent Counseling

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First issue May 2015
First editor, Dee Ray Univ. of North Texas

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Excerpt from the editor:

“The Association for Child and Adolescent Counseling (ACAC), a division of the American Counseling Association (ACA), is pleased to launch our new journal, Journal of Child and Adolescent Counseling(JCAC). This journal is the culmination of more than a decade of work to build a home for child and adolescent counselors within the counseling community. ACAC was accepted as an official division of ACA in 2013, a recognition that the need for a professional organization concentrating on child and adolescent issues was long overdue. As part of the mission of ACAC, we always envisioned that building a credible, peer-reviewed venue for child and adolescent literature was integral to our identity as an organization.

In recent years, I worked on a research team that explored the publication practices of counseling professionals (see Barrio Minton, Fernando, & Ray,2008). We found that although participating authors from varying expertise areas published their works in professional counseling journals, authors who specialize with children were more likely to publish their works in venues outside of the counseling field. The most obvious reason for this practice is that there was simply no venue available to them that focused on working with children. Previously, members of ACA had no available literature that was specific to the developmental focus of counseling children and adolescents. Times have changed, and JCAC has launched to provide a new era for child and adolescent counselors.”