Posted: February 10, 2020
By: Dennette Bailey, a Prevent Child Abuse NC donor
We believe that prevention is only possible because of the people that give their time, energy and resources to make it happen. Our supporters make our work possible and we are so grateful. Meet Dennette – a mom, preschool owner and teacher, blogger and a Prevent Child Abuse NC donor. Continuing with our spotlight on some of our supporters to learn more about their passions and personal connections, Dennette was kind enough to share why she supports prevention and the work that Prevent Child Abuse NC does for families.
Prevent Child Abuse NC (PCANC) strives to make sure that prevention is a priority in our state. One of the ways they do this is by raising awareness about preventing abuse and neglect and the negative impact child maltreatment has on child development. Their mission is very close to my heart as I was a victim of child abuse. One of the things I promised myself as a child is that I would do my best to help abused children, as well as, help caring adults recognize the signs children, who are either being abused or are in danger of being abused, might be displaying.
As an educator I am also very aware that prevention of child abuse can often simply consist of recognizing those families that need resources not readily available to them. Sometimes having access to food, medical care, affordable childcare and safe housing can be the difference between a child who is safe and a child who is abused. One of my own tactics as a teacher was to encourage all families to participate in the backpack food program because the one child that might need it will be the very one who will not receive it if the adult caregiver feels they are being targeted as an “at risk family”.
Addressing prevention issues from the perspective of the children’s needs in interacting with a sensitive caretaker situation is also very important. Though PCANC does not work directly with children and families, they partner with the agencies that do this important work to make sure they have the resources they need to help families they serve. In my experience, educating children and building their self-esteem in regards to self-care and self- safety are also vital components of the prevention of child abuse. For me personally, it would have made a tremendous impact on my life had I been exposed to self-safety education as a youngster.
In my search for an organization that spoke to my personal mission I found that PCANC is the only statewide organization dedicated to the prevention of child abuse and neglect. Through investment in innovative programs proven to prevent child maltreatment before it occurs, PCANC helps North Carolina’s communities decrease factors that put children at risk for abuse and increase factors that encourage children to thrive. They serve every community in North Carolina as the North Carolina chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America.
During my research of the organization, I discovered that Prevent Child Abuse NC has free online trainings to help us prevent child abuse and neglect. One such training offered is the Recognizing & Responding to Suspicions of Child Maltreatment course. This was an important discovery for me because those employed in my field are required to take this course and so it was refreshing to see that it is offered to people outside of the education field as well.
Besides my donation, I desire to be an integral part of an organization that aligns with my personal mission and so this past April when the Prevent Child Abuse NC organization was raising awareness through special advocacy involvement opportunities, I planted a pinwheel garden at my preschool, as was suggested by PCANC to help raise awareness for the strategies that are proven to strengthen families and prevent child abuse. My preschool children, their parents and myself really felt the joyful and carefree childhood sentiment that the pinwheel represents.
All children should have the opportunity to thrive and live in safety. The success of our families and communities depends on our children. There are so many issues in the world that are out of our control but child abuse is not one of them. I contribute to PCANC because I believe they can help by ensuring prevention is a priority in our state and that all communities have access to the resources, knowledge, support to prevent child abuse at the local level.