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PCAR Helps Break the Chains of Abuse and Shows Why Education is Key

By Elisha Neubauer

In Rockdale County, Georgia, reports of child maltreatment have skyrocketed over the last decade. With over 1100 reports filed in 2015 alone, the county has found itself dramatically ahead of the state averages of children suffering neglect or abuse. While this news is devastating, there is one organization that has been hard at work to lower these numbers - Prevent Child Abuse Rockdale.

Opened in 1989, Prevent Child Abuse Rockdale is a nonprofit organization dedicated solely to ensuring that children are raised in a safe, loving, nurturing home free from all forms of abuse and neglect. "Prevent Child Abuse Rockdale (PCAR) is organized in a manner supported by the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect (NCCAN)," says Diane Howington.

"It implements components aimed at providing (1) public awareness programs about positive parenting and positive family support; (2) parenting education and support programs that acknowledge and reinforce parents' responsibility for their children; and (3) community-based task forces that plan, develop, implement, and oversee the projects."

The organization operates on a concept of community-based prevention and intervention services. They display a strong commitment to strengthening families in the Newton, Rockdale, and outlying counties through providing families with the information, support, and resources necessary to be successful in raising children. "Education is the number one strategy for preventing child abuse," states Howington. "Our agency has been providing case management and support services to adolescent parents and their children for 26 years."

Several programs are available through the organization, but perhaps the most notable is the Rockdale Positive Parenting Program. "It serves parents ages 12 to 25 in order to give these at-risk young parents the guidance and skills they need in order to be loving, effective parents and raise healthy children," explains Howington. According to her, mothers who have participated in this extraordinary program reported significant increases in positive parenting attitudes including appropriate developmental and parenting expectations, empathic awareness of their child's needs, and decreased endorsement of corporal punishment.

"The young mothers demonstrated gains in parenting sensitivity and attunement, greater levels of parenting competence, increased levels of attachment to their children, greater levels of perceived support from their partners, and improved knowledge of parent/child roles."

In addition to offering prevention programs, the organization partners with DFCS to provide programs for those who have experienced abuse themselves. "We give them the tools needed to handle everyday stress so that they can be the best parents that they can be," she informs us. "We help by providing diapers, food, clothing and basic needs so that they are able to focus on improving parenting skills."

Other available programs include the First Steps program, which offers new parents emotional support, current parenting information, and referrals to vital community resources; the Active Parenting Program, which teaches age-specific parenting skills; and the Triple P Program, which is a center and home based program designed to prevent severe behavioral problems in children by enhancing the knowledge, skills, and confidence of parents.

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About The Author

Elisha Neubauer is a freelance editor, ghostwriter, book reviewer, and author. She is...

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