COVID-19 Response and Resources
We know that times of crisis put families under great stress and can lead to significant increases in the risk of child maltreatment. North Carolina expects a rise in both domestic violence and child abuse and neglect cases as families are socially isolated and the unemployment rate skyrockets. For those lucky enough to still have jobs and work from home, parents struggle to balance working at home, supporting their children’s learning and parenting – three distinctly different roles. In this environment, any family may be at risk.
As the COVID-19 crisis evolves, Prevent Child Abuse NC (PCANC) remains steadfast in our mission to ensure that child maltreatment prevention is a priority for North Carolina and all communities have the knowledge, support and resources to prevent child abuse and neglect. Outlined below are the key strategies PCANC is prioritizing in response to COVID-19 and the emerging needs of our partner agencies and the families they serve.
Strategy #1: Helping nonprofit family support agencies adjust to virtual service delivery
When social distancing restrictions were mandated at the state level due to COVID-19, all 51 nonprofit family support agencies that PCANC partners with had to close their doors out of concern for the safety of staff and the vulnerable families they serve. We are working with state and national partners to help these sites implement programs virtually, to ensure families can still access parenting support they need during this stressful time. This includes helping agency staff become familiar with virtual platforms like Zoom and mentoring practitioners through the process on how to assess if a family has the resources to participate virtually or accessing technology when it is unavailable in a home. We are committed to continuously adapting the support we provide to the dedicated individuals and organizations who serve children and families in North Carolina, helping them navigate this challenging time while also keeping the parents they serve engaged and feeling supported.
Strategy #2: Working with partners to organize and adapt resources for agencies who support parents
As COVID-19 social distancing restrictions tightened, PCANC pivoted from community events recognizing Child Abuse Prevention Month to a virtual platform to ensure that prevention messaging is prioritized during this time of crisis response. In partnership with NC Department of Health and Human Services, we developed a COVID-19 Parent & Caregiver Guide with an accompanying COVID-19 Social Media Toolkit for agencies across the state to share resources with parents. We are also adapting resources on how community members play a role in recognizing and reporting suspicions of child abuse and neglect.
Strategy #3: Aligning with state and national partners to advocate for policies that help families
Now more than ever, families need access to resources that can buffer the stressful effects of our current situation. PCANC is dedicated to advocating for public policies that ensure safe, stable and nurturing environments for children. As state and federal policymakers work to allocate funds in response to this crisis, we are working alongside partners to ensure that those decisions are made with families and children in mind. We signed on to letters advocating for paid sick leave, paid family leave, living wages, affordable healthcare, childcare subsidies, and rent assistance to support families so that children stay safe and healthy.
Ensure child maltreatment prevention is a priority in this time of crisis.