Holly VanRoekel is the new director of Yadkin SCAN, Exchange Club Center for The Prevention of Child Abuse of North Carolina, Inc.
The local office is located at 424 East Main St.,Yadkinville.
VanRoekel offered a brief description of the service her group provides when an abuse situation occurs.
“We go into the home for those 12 to 18 months and work with the family,” she said. “I usually go out and do home visits. I’m usually there an hour or so. I work with the parents and the kids, showing them how they can parent better.”
What is neglect?
“The way I like to put it is abuse is doing something you’re not supposed to do, and neglect is not doing something you’re supposed to be,” said VanRoekel. “It can be educational neglect like not sending your kids to school or medical neglect not taking them to a doctor’s appointment if they are sick.
“Not feeding the children or taking care of their basic needs, that’s neglect,” she said.
Her assistant is Paula Casstevens.
Casstevens is from Mt. Airy, having worked for SCAN since 2006. SCAN came to Yadkin County in 1997.
“Our main office is in Forsyth County,” said VanRoekel. “They opened the center in 1981.” Parenting education classes are offered.
“We just started in 1997 with parenting classes initially,” she added.
They encourage parents to come and take part as a self-referral, however most referrals are from the Department of Social Services and the health department and the school system and Department of Juvenile Justice.
“There are some parents who will call in requesting services,” said the director. “They can come by, and we can do the referral here if it is easier for them. We do most of the referrals over the phone.”
Circumstances can vary from clients
“It really varies,” she said. “Abuse and neglect don’t discriminate. It affects all socio-economic status. They can be from any religious background or type of family, a single family home or grandparents. We serve the whole spectrum.”
Sometimes it can be a hard day, according to Casstevens.
“It’s hard not to take it home with you, especially with kids since we put the kids first,” she said. “We do call in and report stuff. I just try to take a shower every night to relax or exercise, read or go on the computer and reduce stress.”
“We meet weekly as well to go over cases,” said VanRoekel. “We meet as a whole staff with the other offices as well every two weeks. It’s a way that we share the burden. It’s a way we support each other.”
If something comes up, they talk on a daily basis.
“It depends on the family,” said the director. “We work with other organizations in town to make sure the family has services. Our primary focus is parenting skills, but we know there are sometimes things that get in the way of being a good parent.”
Donations can be made.
“We do use volunteers as well,” said the director. “It’s a 12 to 16 hour training process. We train volunteers to do some of the in-house work that we do. We don’t give them the more extreme cases. We do train a volunteer to be able to work with a family.”
Child Abuse Prevention Month is in April. “On the 31st at 10 a.m. we will be at the courthouse,” she said. “We’ve got several local child care center who will bring their kids. We will honor the children who have lost their lives in the last year. We hope to have the mayor there to read the proclamation kicking off the month.
“Also we plan on April 21 at 7 p.m we will be doing a vigil at Town Hall,” she said. “We will be remembering children who have lost their lives in the last year in the state of North Carolina and promoting awareness.”
The blue ribbons you will see will promote the month. Business owners are being asked to take part.