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PAN Member Spotlight: Ginger Espino, SAFEchild

PAN Member Spotlight: Ginger Espino, SAFEchild

In the PAN Member Spotlight monthly series, hear from Prevent Child Abuse NC’s (PCANC) PAN members, learn about their work, and what inspires them and their partnership with PCANC to help build safe, stable, nurturing environments in North Carolina!

For our fourth PAN Member Spotlight, we introduce Ginger Espino, MSW, Community Engagement and Training Coordinator at SAFEchild, a child abuse prevention agency in Raleigh, NC. As a PAN member, Espino embodies the importance and prevalence of Protective Factors that help strengthen families and prevent abuse from ever occurring in Wake County.

2021 Learning & Leadership Summit Keynote Announcement

2021 Learning & Leadership Summit Keynote Announcement

Prevent Child Abuse NC’s (PCANC) 2021 Learning & Leadership Virtual Summit: Investing Upstream – Prioritizing Prevention will feature two keynote presentations to help move our work in child maltreatment prevention to the next level – upstream! Get to know our keynotes today!

PAN Member Spotlight: Myca Jeter, Access Family Services

PAN Member Spotlight: Myca Jeter, Access Family Services

For our third PAN Member Spotlight, we introduce Myca Jeter, Foster Care Director at Access Family Services. Jeter has worked in child welfare for over 17 years and can’t remember a time without Pinwheels for Prevention, child abuse prevention walks and awareness activities, or dedicating her work to improving the lives of NC’s children and families! Get to know more about her below!

St. Stephen Congregation: Giving Thanks and Giving Back to the Families of NC

St. Stephen Congregation: Giving Thanks and Giving Back to the Families of NC

The holidays are looking a lot different this year, but that is not stopping congregants at St. Stephen A.M.E. Church in Wilmington, North Carolina, from working together to build a stronger community within New Hanover County. Reverend Thomas O. Nixon noted that he started a Thanksgiving Day worship service 25 years ago, a tradition he has brought to every church, with the purpose of bringing to light what the day should truly reflect – giving thanks and helping others in need within the community.

PAN Member Spotlight: Jessica Stokes, NC Council of Churches

PAN Member Spotlight: Jessica Stokes, NC Council of Churches

Posted: October 27, 2020 In the Prevention Action Network (PAN) Member Spotlight monthly series, hear from Prevent Child Abuse NC’s (PCANC) PAN members, learn about their work, and what inspires them and their partnership with PCANC to help build safe, stable, nurturing environments in North Carolina!  For our second PAN Member Spotlight, we introduce Jessica Stokes, Associate Director of Partners in Health and Wholeness with a statewide focus on mental health advocacy. Partners in Health and Wholeness is a program of the North Carolina Council of Churches.  October 19th through 23rd, PCANC, Institute of Emerging Issues and NC Council of Churches held a week-long webinar series, Strengthening + Connecting, to educate about the science behind the importance of strengthening and connecting families, congregations, and communities, but also to offer a space to share and learn from each other. Watch Jessica talk about the intersection of faith communities and building resilient communities and strong families where children can thrive. Missed any of the Strengthening & Connecting Webinar sessions? Watch them on your own time below! Introduction to the 5 Protective Factors Webinar Recording We encourage you to view this before watching any of our Open Conversations! Link to recording Please take our Intro to the 5 Protective Factors Survey Day 1: Parental Resilience- Mental Well-Being Open Conversation with Faith Leaders and Experts Webinar Recording Link to Recording Day 2: Social Emotional Competence of Children Recording Link to Recording Day 3: Knowledge of Parents and Child Development Recording Link to Recording Day 4: Concrete Supports Recording Link to Recording Day 5: Social Connections Recording Link to Recording Meet Our Webinar Speakers Here Virtual Town-hall with Faith Leaders on Connection Link to Recording Learn how your congregation can use Connections Matter to build positive connections, a resilient community, and strong families. Contact Tracey O’Neal, PCANC’s Partnership Engagement Manager at toneal@preventchildabusenc.org. JOIN THE PREVENTION ACTION NETWORK The Prevention Action Network is an affiliation of agencies and individuals who are invested in developing safe, stable, nurturing relationships for all North Carolina children. Joining the Prevention Action Network gives you or your agency access to trainings, research, and statistics, as well as a network of other professionals and citizens who are also committed to ensuring all of North Carolina’s children and families remain strong. Learn more and join today!…

Connecting the Dots: Child Care, Child Maltreatment Prevention and a Thriving Economy Part 3: Why ECE Builds Strong Families

Connecting the Dots: Child Care, Child Maltreatment Prevention and a Thriving Economy Part 3: Why ECE Builds Strong Families

Posted: August 28, 2020 By: Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina and Child Care Services Association  This is the final blog of this three-part blog series. Read Part 1: What is ECE and Why Should We Invest in it? and Part 2: The ECE Role in Preventing Child Maltreatment – and Why it is Critical During the Pandemic.  Early Care and Education (ECE) is a source of Protective Factors for children. Protective Factors are conditions in families and communities that, when present, increase the health and well-being of children and families. These attributes serve as buffers, helping parents find resources, support or coping strategies that allow them to parent effectively, even under stress. Research has shown that the Protective Factors are linked to a lower incidence of child abuse and neglect. Because quality ECE programs are staffed and built around knowledge of child development, they are providing a critical protective factor. Children thrive when caregivers provide not only affection, but also respectful communication and listening, consistent rules and expectations and safe opportunities that promote independence. Successful caregiving by ECE teachers and parents fosters psychological adjustment, helps children succeed in school, encourages curiosity about the world and motivates children to achieve. Children’s early experiences of being nurtured and developing a positive relationship with a caring adult affects all aspects of behavior and development. Research shows that babies who receive affection and nurturing from their parents and caregivers have the best chance of healthy development. A child’s relationship with a consistent, caring adult in the early years is associated later in life with better academic grades, healthier behaviors, more positive peer interactions and an increased ability to cope with stress. We know that families who can meet their own basic needs for food, clothing, housing and transportation—and who know how to access essential services such as child care, health care and mental health services to address family-specific needs—are better able to ensure the safety and well-being of their children. Many ECE programs partner with parents to identify and access resources in the community which may help prevent the stress that sometimes precipitates child maltreatment. Providing concrete supports, a key Protective Factor, may also help prevent the unintended neglect that sometimes occurs when parents are unable to provide for their children. Parents with a social network of emotionally supportive friends, family and neighbors often find that it is easier to care for their children and themselves. Now, while most of us are staying physically isolated to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, some parents find the connection to their ECE teacher is a connection to someone they trust, rely on and who can offer advice or concrete support. Research has shown that parents who are isolated, with few social connections, are at higher risk for child abuse and neglect. Protective Factors are built in to ECE programs, providing a support system that builds strong families. Quality, affordable child care is foundation to building strong families, resilient children, caring communities and economic prosperity into the future. Resources: Learn more about the Protective Factors. Take the Recognizing & Responding to Suspicions of Child Maltreatment Course. Learn more about Connections Matter NC.  This blog is also published by Child Care Services Association. Child Care Services Association works to ensure affordable, accessible, high quality child care for all families through research, services and advocacy. We are a leader and advocate in child care services on the local, state and national level. We collaborate with many partners, businesses and stakeholders to address needs within the child care…

Connecting the Dots: Child Care, Child Maltreatment Prevention and a Thriving Economy Part 3: Why ECE Builds Strong Families

Connecting the Dots: Child Care, Child Maltreatment Prevention and a Thriving Economy Part 2: The ECE Role in Preventing Child Maltreatment – and Why it is Critical During the Pandemic

Posted: August 26, 2020 By: Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina and Child Care Services Association  This is the second post of a three-part blog series. Read Part 1 of this series: What is ECE and Why Should We Invest in it? Read Part 3 of this series: Why ECE Builds Strong Families High quality Early Care and Education (ECE) programs create safe, stable, nurturing environments, proven to prevent child maltreatment. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend investing in quality child care as a key strategy to prevent child maltreatment in their Essentials for Childhood technical assistance package. Quality, affordable ECE programs allow parents to focus on work to provide for their family. Young children receive two meals and a snack each day. Many programs screen children for health and developmental concerns. Teachers observe children, using those observations to plan curriculum, support children’s needs and when necessary, make reports if they suspect maltreatment or neglect. Families are recognized as partners in their children’s care and parents are listened to and respected. High quality programs promote child health and safety by understanding the challenges their families are facing, connecting them to local resources or assisting them in creating and maintaining healthy environments for their children. Most importantly, ECE teachers are a trusted, knowledgeable source of information about the stages of child development and expectations for children’s behavior for many parents. Unfortunately, the ECE system was broken long before COVID-19 struck because the economics do not work. Parents cannot afford the real cost of care, causing wage suppression.  Programs struggle to stay afloat. They are often one emergency away from closing. As a society, we are not investing in the ECE system the way we invest in subsidizing the public K-12 and university systems, yet the early childhood years build the foundation for future educational success. More than 50 percent of the state’s highest quality rated ECE programs (4- and 5- stars) and 30 percent of all programs were closed at the end of June[1]. Those open were operating at less than full capacity; enrollment is down 67 percent nationally, and statewide, we are at 53 percent capacity. At the same time expenses are increasing, including 73 percent of programs spending more money on payroll to meet smaller group sizes  as required. With razor-thin operating margins before COVID-19, this is fast approaching a disaster. Programs will not be able to survive, leaving families without care, striking a blow to our workforce and our economy. Many working parents will be forced to make hard choices. In some families, older siblings will have to drop out of school to care for younger children, school age children will come home to empty homes or in too many cases, families will be forced to rely on unstable and unsafe situations where their children’s health and safety may be endangered. We can prevent this. We know how to create quality, affordable child care. In fact, the U.S. military has been doing it for decades. If we recognize ECE as a necessity for working families and support it with federal, state and local dollars (as we do with our K-12 and public university systems), not only will children and families thrive, so will our economy. [1] DCDEE, July 2020. This blog is also published by Child Care Services Association. Child Care Services Association works to ensure affordable, accessible, high quality child care for all families through research, services and advocacy. We are a leader and advocate in child care services on the local, state and national level. We collaborate with many partners, businesses and stakeholders to address needs within the child care…

Connecting the Dots: Child Care, Child Maltreatment Prevention and a Thriving Economy – Part 1: What is ECE and Why Should We Invest In It?

Connecting the Dots: Child Care, Child Maltreatment Prevention and a Thriving Economy – Part 1: What is ECE and Why Should We Invest In It?

Posted: August 24, 2020 By: Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina and Child Care Services Association  This is the first blog post of a three-part blog series. Read Part 2 of this series: The ECE Role in Preventing Child Maltreatment – And Why it is Critical During the Pandemic Read Part 3 of this series: Why ECE Builds Strong Families As our lives are rocked by the repercussions of COVID-19, children are learning at home, relationships are disrupted and parents are juggling parenting and work. Many parents are working from home. Others must leave home to keep their jobs. Access to quality, affordable child care is a necessity for employees and employers. In this three-part series, we are focusing on the critical role of Early Care and Education (ECE) in creating safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments to prevent child maltreatment and strengthen families. Right now, ECE educators and programs are under stress. Families with young children are stressed. Assuring the stability of our ECE system is essential so North Carolina can get back to business and families can thrive. We all have a role to play in assuring safe, stable, nurturing environments for our children—policymakers, business leaders and community members—to assure our children thrive and we build a foundation for their future success. Investing in a sustainable, quality ECE system is fundamental to our society. It is good for kids. It is good for parents. It is good for business.  That is a winning equation that will have a great return on investment post-pandemic and beyond. Part 1 – What is ECE and Why Should We Invest in it? Early Care and Education (ECE), often called child care, includes settings in which children are cared for and taught by people other than their parents or primary caregivers with whom they live. It is foundational for a prosperous society. It serves many vital functions: an educational institution building young children’s developing brains; a caring place for children to develop social and emotional skills; a primary child maltreatment prevention system; a vital workforce support; and an economic driver. ECE is a complex system of care and education that supports children’s well-being. Positive interactions are the foundation of healthy brain development, particularly in the first three years of life when 80 percent of brain growth happens. Quality ECE by a workforce educated in child development fosters caring relationships for children which increase their ability to thrive, adapt and learn into adulthood. ECE is also a foundational support system for our workforce and economic development. Corporations, small businesses and community-based organizations need employees with secure child care and school arrangements to stabilize our economy. Employees depend on quality care for their children while they work. As ECE programs struggle to stay open during the pandemic, the lack of care impacts child well-being, family financial security and economic recovery. This blog is also published by Child Care Services Association. Child Care Services Association works to ensure affordable, accessible, high quality child care for all families through research, services and advocacy. We are a leader and advocate in child care services on the local, state and national level. We collaborate with many partners, businesses and stakeholders to address needs within the child care…

Socially Distant but Together in Prioritizing Prevention – 5 Factors 5k Goes VIRTUAL

Socially Distant but Together in Prioritizing Prevention – 5 Factors 5k Goes VIRTUAL

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to reimagine what events look like moving forward, and Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina’s (PCANC) 5 Factors 5K is no exception! With a high likelihood of social distancing restrictions still being in place in October, we have decided to shift our 5k to a virtual platform this year. Though we’re disappointed to not be able to gather in person at Dorothea Dix Park like last year, the 5 Factors (virtual) 5K is an opportunity to recruit participants from across the entire state and raise even more awareness of the role we all play in making prevention a priority. What made our 5 Factors 5K special in the past was the variety of family-friendly activities available to participants, both before and after the race. That is why we’ve created our first-ever 5K Advisory Planning Committee – to help us conceptualize and deliver on a virtual 5k that will inspire runners, walkers and families from a distance. PCANC has a talented, smart, and resourceful group of constituents who want to utilize their extra time at home creating impact within the community. With many folks working from home and canceling other activities, we’ve also had a number of incredible donors step up to help us with planning fun and meaningful content (for all ages) for a week-long event …. not just one day. Stay tuned for more information about all the events and activities your race registration gets you! We may be physically distant but we remain TOGETHER in our mission to prevent child abuse and neglect.  Please join us for our first ever (maybe not last), 5 Factors (Virtual) 5k. We are excited to offer this opportunity, for both participants and volunteers, to focus time and energy on strengthening the families and children of NC – especially now. If you are interested in joining the advisory committee or hearing about our sponsorship opportunities, please contact Claire…