Following the tragic deaths of four children in 1997 as a result of severe maltreatment and abuse, the Rowan County community decided that something had to be done. Prevent Child Abuse Rowan (PCAR) began as a grassroots organization following the first Child Abuse Prevention Walk held in late 1997. Kimber Mork, a concerned and dedicated social worker, was responsible for organizing the walk. As a result of her efforts and in collaboration with other concerned citizens, PCAR incorporated in May, 2000, as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
This initial group of dedicated individuals from various disciplines sought to end child abuse in Rowan County by building a citizen-based network to organize child abuse prevention and education efforts and advocate on behalf of our children. PCAR continued this work for many years until several social workers and law enforcement officers in the county determined that more needed to be done to support the children who have already suffered from abuse.
To make this goal a reality, The Terrie Hess House Child Advocacy Center (CAC) opened its doors in March, 2005. The CAC is named in memory of Terrie Spencer Hess, who was a local guardian ad-litem instrumental in getting the CAC off the ground prior to her passing. The CAC is based upon a nationally-recognized model for responding to allegations of child physical and sexual abuse. The CAC was accredited by National Children's Alliance in 2012 as a best-practice model for child advocacy centers.
PCAR's goal continues to be the prevention of child abuse, and two specific programs help achieve that. In 2014, PCAR started the Stop-Go-Tell program which provides in-school, educational sessions for First and Fifth graders to teach them how to avoid abuse. In 2016, PCAR started providing parenting education to help caregivers be more calm, consistent, and supportive, and to learn ways to help keep their children safe. PCAR continues to work hard to support Rowan County children and their caregivers. Please consider helping us today.
A message from our Director:
Here in Rowan County, PCAR deals with the issue of child abuse each and every day. The children we serve have experienced severely traumatic circumstances that require us to be ever mindful of the need to provide a safe and secure environment for them to tell their story. Once this happens, we do everything we can to make sure that they and their families get started down the road to healing. Children who experience traumas like emotional, physical, and sexual abuse are at a much higher risk for physical and mental ailments later in life. By helping each child as early as possible, it is our goal to reduce those risks.
How can we prevent this kind of abuse? By fostering safe, stable, and nurturing relationships between children and their caregivers. PCAR offers the Triple P - Positive Parenting Program, plus others, for free to help caregivers strengthen the skills necessary to be a much-needed support network for their children. But children need to learn how to support themselves as well. For this, PCAR has been providing educational sessions in all of Rowan County's First and Fifth Grade classrooms since late 2014. Using our copyrighted Stop-Go-Tell program, PCAR teaches schoolchildren how to better identify abusive situations, remove themselves from them, and create a network of supportive adults who can help them.
We cannot, however, do all of this alone. Please consider providing your support for PCAR in any way you can by Clicking Here!
If you suspect a child is being abused, it is vital that you make a report to DSS immediately. Make the call and express your concerns and let the professionals ensure the safety of that child. You can make a report (anonymously if you like) by calling Rowan County Department of Social Services at 704-216-8499. Of course, if you have any other concerns or would simply like to learn more about how to address child abuse in our community, please contact us here at PCAR.
With your help, we can ensure that each and every child in our community gets the happy and healthy life they deserve.
Beth Moore McKeithan