Turning Toward a Safer World for Children
This week’s blog is written by Molly Moyer, Director of Development, Hope Center for Children
“None of us were lucky enough to have children born with instructions for how to raise them…”
That statement reminds us that parenting is challenging, and that we all want to do the best we can. To do that, we all need a little extra help sometimes. At Hope Center for Children, our goal is to help normalize parenting and provide that “extra help” when our community needs it.
National Child Abuse Prevention Month
As a community agency, Hope Center for Children celebrates happy, healthy childhoods all year long. We give even more energy during the month of April as it is national Child Abuse Prevention Month. Each year in April, Hope Center for Children advocates for all children, and strives to honor those who have experienced the trauma of abuse and neglect. One way we choose to honor those children is by “planting” a pinwheel garden in Morgan Square – the heart of our city. Each year, we place one pinwheel for each confirmed case or abuse or neglect from Spartanburg County in the prior year. This year, there are 685 pinwheels in Morgan Square.
That number never gets easier to hear, and to see the visual representation of that with pinwheels is daunting. If you could have protected even one of those children, would you? Hopefully we can all share an emphatic “yes!” to that question.
Providing an Upstream Strategy to Prevent Child Abuse
How does it work? Thankfully, in Spartanburg, Hope Center for Children is here to help. Alongside community partners, Hope Center for Children realized that we should never wait until a child has suffered unimaginable trauma before we provide a safe place for them. Our community desperately needed an upstream approach to helping families keep their children safely at home. Thanks to our generous community providing collective support, the Positive Parenting Program (Triple P) was introduced to Spartanburg eight years ago. This evidence-based model provides tools to help parents navigate everyday challenges with their child’s behavior, and allows for on-going support when families need it most. These tips and strategies create a positive bond for both parent and child; ultimately leading to a more positive home environment.
Since 2014, Triple P Family Specialists have provided the more intensive sessions (Level 4) to 1,288 families and 2,805 children! Imagine almost 3,000 children growing up in our community with parents who feel confident and competent in providing healthy parenting skills and discipline.
There is still a long way to go to prevent all child maltreatment in our community, but each act of advocacy which raises awareness and each resource donated to increase the accessibility of support WILL break the cycle of abuse and neglect.
If you or someone you know would benefit from parenting support and education, please contact Angela Talley Robinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (864) 583-7688.