At Powers & Santola, LLP, we want to bring attention to the many amazing non-profit organizations that, every day, make a major difference in the communities that we serve. The goal of our “Monthly Non-Profit Spotlight” series is to highlight the important services that these organizations provide. We also want to encourage others to support the work of these organizations by donating, volunteering or simply spreading awareness. This month we are focusing on Prevent Child Abuse New York or PCANY. They focus on helping prevent physical and sexual abuse against the children of New York.
PCANY Strives to Stop Child Abuse and Neglect in New York Before It Starts
Prevent Child Abuse New York (PCANY)
4 Global View
Troy, N.Y. 12180
Since 1980, the organization known today as Prevent Child Abuse New York (PCANY) has taken a multi-faceted approach to carrying out its core mission: Stopping child abuse and neglect in New York before it has the chance to start. The 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation serves as the state chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America. It provides training, education and referral services to more than 100,000 people every year. It also benefits countless others through its advocacy for legislation, policy and programs that protect children and their families.
The work of PCANY and the prevention of child abuse and neglect is of vital importance to our state. Child abuse victims suffer not only immediate harm. Many victims go on to experience mental illness and substance abuse problems as well as engage in criminal conduct – consequences which cost the state of New York an estimated $5 billion per year. As PCANY states on its website, “We all pay the price for child abuse.”
PCANY carries out its mission through five core programs:
The Parent Helpline
The Parent Helpline – or 1-800-CHILDREN – is a non-emergency information and referral service that PCANY established in 1989. It helps to direct parents, volunteers, professionals and others to services they need in their region such as child care, domestic violence services and parenting skills classes. It is free, confidential and available every day, 24 hours a day, in English and Spanish. In 2017, the Parent Helpline allowed PCANY to fill 3,774 requests for information, referral services and/or prevention education literature and materials.
Healthy Families New York
PCANY has facilitated the training and staff development for this program since 1993. Healthy Families New York (HFNY) provides home-based services that are aimed at improving the health and well-being of infants and children. In 2016, PCANY expanded its training contract to include the development of a Workforce Development Plan, which focuses on establishing best practices for home visitors.
New York State Parenting Education Partnership
PCANY partners with several organizations and state agencies in the New York State Parenting Education Partnership (NYSPEP), including the New York State Council on Children & Families. The goal of NYSPEP is to enhance parents’ skills and knowledge and to provide training and educational opportunities for professionals, researchers and policymakers within our state. In 2017 alone, 963 parenting professionals participated in this program, according to PCANY.
Enough Abuse Campaign
This campaign was launched by the public-private New York Partnership for Child Sexual Abuse Prevention. It was organized in 2012 under PCANY’s leadership. The Enough Abuse Campaign (EAC) focuses on building adult and community responsibility for preventing child sexual abuse. PCANY reports that it held 109 trainings in 2017 alone and added 66 new trainers. A total of 13 counties in New York are now served by the campaign.
Policy and Advocacy
PCANY is highly active when it comes to advocacy for policies and programs that help to prevent child abuse and neglect of all forms and which provide crucial support to children and families within our state. For example, PCANY often submits memos and writes letters and press statements in support of legislation. It also conducts social media outreach and holds policymaker meetings. The organization’s work has led to many positive developments such as the recent enactment of the Child Victims Act (CVA), which greatly expands the ability of childhood sexual abuse victims to file civil lawsuits against their abusers.
In addition to these core programs, PCANY recently launched the New York State Home Visiting Coordination Initiative thanks to funding obtained through a legislative award secured by New York State Assembly Member Andrew Hevesi. The initiative will pair nurses or paraprofessionals with families to help them to overcome the challenges which often arise during the earliest days – and even years – of a child’s life.
How Can You Join PCANY in Stopping Child Abuse and Neglect in New York?
You can take advantage of many different ways to support PCANY and its overall mission of stopping child abuse and neglect in New York State before it starts. Those ways include:
- Donations – In addition to grants, training fees and product sales, donations serve as a major source of financial support for PCANY. Go to the organization’s website to learn more about how you can donate directly or through routes such as iGive and MissionFish. Remember: Donations to a 501(c)(3) are tax-deductible.
- Promotion of the Parent Helpline – You can help to spread the word about the Parent Helpline through social media or through more traditional methods such as simply posting fliers at schools, libraries, doctor’s offices and child care centers.
- Pinwheels for Prevention/Child Abuse Prevention Month – The Pinwheels for Prevention kits can help to raise awareness about child abuse and neglect. You can distribute kits and host educational events, especially during April’s Child Abuse Prevention Month.
- Support Parents – Most importantly, you can help to prevent child abuse by giving your support to parents who are going through stressful times and, as a result, face a high risk of engaging in abusive behaviors. You can learn more about how to identify parents who are struggling with issues such as money, substance abuse or mental or physical health problems, and you can refer parents in need to PCANY.
Don’t forget to check out the most recent PCANY News and Events and get the most recent updates about the organization’s activities at its Facebook page.