Many people want to make a change in their communities, they just don’t know how. SHARE Charlotte has hundreds of valuable community resources all in one centralized location. I look forward to sharing several of those resources monthly, in order to encourage you to put your good intent to action.
A nation-wide statistic shows that 90% of children are victimized by someone they know and trust. According to the Council for Children’s Rights, nearly 40% of children reported abused or neglected were under the age of six and nearly 63% of investigated reports include more than one child victim. In June, SHARE Charlotte is featuring organizations that keep members of our community #SafeFromHarm. Thompson Child and Family Focus and Pat’s Place are two hard working nonprofits that focus on child abuse prevention.
The Thompson Child and Family Focus provides the building blocks for success by offering the highest quality of care, personal attention and proven learning environment for all children as well as adults within the Charlotte community. Thompson is a community-based service provider and mental health continuum. The organization begins with early childhood development and prepares children for grade school and beyond. They offer parenting classes, foster parent training and licensing, mental health intervention, traveling therapists and outpatient therapy.
Pat’s Place Child Advocacy Center is an accredited child advocacy center that coordinates the investigation, treatment and prosecution of the most serious cases of child abuse in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. Pat’s provides a physical environment where a child’s well-being is our first priority and break the cycle of abuse through training, education and community outreach. Any cases of domestic abuse or homicide may be referred to Pat’s Place. This organization has a partnership with Atrium Healthcare, which provides medical evaluations of each child, checking overall health and well-being. There are on-sight mental health services and a strong focus on trauma reduction. All services at Pat’s Place are provided at no costs.
I spoke with representatives from both of these organizations and here’s a break-down: WHAT kinds of child abuse warning signs you can detect and HOW to help if child abuse occurs.
WHAT TO DETECT
- The child acting out of the ordinary: lack of focus on daily tasks
- Change in behavior: social interactions
- Change in school performance
- Heightened anxiety
- Depression: a noticeable shift in mood
- Inappropriateness: sexual behavior that is inappropriate
- Exposure to domestic violence, pornography
HOW TO HELP
- Social and Emotional Competence: Children’s early experiences of being nurtured and developing a positive relationship with caring adults affects all aspects of behavior and development.
- Social Connections: Parents/caretakers with a social network of emotionally supportive friends, family and neighbors often find it easier to care for their children and themselves.
- Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development: Children thrive when parents provide not only affection, but also respectful communication and listening, consistent rules and expectations, and safe opportunities that promote independence.
- Resilience: Parents who can cope with the stresses of everyday life, as well occasional crisis, have resilience, they have the flexibility and inner strength necessary to bounce back when things are not going well.
- Concrete Support: Families who can meet their own basic needs for food, clothing, housing and transportation and who know how to access essential services such as childcare, health care and mental health services to address family-specific needs are better able to ensure the safety and well-being of their children.
- Destigmatizing mental health
- Seek organizations (as mentioned above) as a resource
- Empowerment from knowledge
More about the organizations:
Pat’s Place is holding their signature fundraising event, BBQ and Blue Jeans, on Friday, September 7, 2018 from 6:30-9:30PM. To learn more, contact Kaylan Mariano: 980-222-4221 or Kaylan@patsplaceac.org