April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.
“It should be a focus of every day,” says Gretchen Pixley-Jones, director of the Yadkinville SCAN office “It happens every day and it happens in your neighborhood.”
SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now) is a privately funded 501(c) (3), created and funded for the most part by the National Exchange Club International based in Toledo, Ohio. The Yadkinville office, located at 424 E. Main St., offers several different types of services to the public ranging from support to education and referral.
“We are a child abuse prevention organization that operates in Forsyth, Iredell, Stokes, Surry and Yadkin,” said Jones. “I think that with the state of the economy, we have seen a huge increase in incidents because of stress.
“This is not limited to a certain class or race of people it is across the board. It affects people in every walk of life,” she said. “ The strength of the family is one of the things that is taking a big hit due to the economy.”
According to the most recent studies available from July 2007 to June 2008 in North Carolina, SCAN reported that 120, 535 children were reported abused; 21, 399 cases were substantiated. There were 25 fatalities in North Carolina alone due to abuse and neglect, or a combination of allegations.
More than 3 million children are reported abused or neglected in the U.S. each year.
In Yadkin County alone, 429 cases were investigated. These were a combination of abuse, neglect, and dependency. Two cases were substantiated for neglect and abuse; seven cases for abuse; and one case was substantiated for dependency; 40 cases proved neglect; and 50 additional cases were substantiated based on other findings; 12 children were found to be in need of additional services.
“That is not all. Many cases are never reported or cannot be substantiated for various reasons,” said Jones. “If you are aware of a neglect or abuse situation involving a child and you don’t report it, you must share in the guilt and the responsibility for the long-term effects of that abuse.”
One of SCAN’s main purposes is to provide parent aid services. They receive referrals from the Department of Social Service, the juvenile court system, the schools system and many who come on their own.
“If you are concerned about how you’re reacting to your child, give us a call. If we can’t help you, we’ll find someone who can,” said Jones.
Volunteer aids work with families on a weekly basis to offer support, guidance and referrals to other resources.
SCAN is a prevention program. It is not just for people who are facing charges. SCAN has many clients who come in looking for assistance with their children. A 24-hour crises line is available for residents to call for information, referrals and guidance: 399-2355.
“We strictly work with the families, we are not a DSS organization,” said Jones.
Staff is available for presentations to civic organizations and churches. Spanish interpreters are also available for these programs.
On April 25, from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m., several agencies will collaborate and hold a street festival on the main street in downtown Yadkinville. The event is being held to help raise awareness and to celebrate families.
SCAN always needs volunteers. If you would like to assist with this program please contact their office at 679-6135. They also provide opportunities for students who need to do community service hours.
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. This month and throughout the year, Yadkin SCAN encourages all individuals and organizations to play a role in making Yadkin County a better place for families.
By ensuring that parents have the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to care for their children, we can help prevent child abuse and neglect by strengthening families and communities.
April is a time to celebrate the important role that communities play in protecting children. Everyone’s participation is critical. Focusing on ways to promote prevention of child abuse and neglect in every interaction with families is the best thing our community can do to strengthen families. For more information about child abuse prevention programs and activities during the month of April and throughout the year, contact Yadkin SCAN at 679-6135, or visit 424 E. Main St., Yadkinville.