A leading organization that works to prevent child abuse and neglect before it ever gets started announced Thursday that 10 of its state chapters have completed all the steps the organization requires to be chartered.
“Our nationwide state chapter network is integral to the work we do,” said Prevent Child Abuse America President & CEO Melissa Merrick. “The substantial experience and expertise of chapter leadership and staff, as well as the partnerships they foster and nurture in their communities, help to amplify our primary prevention efforts across the country.”
The newly chartered states are Florida, Indiana, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah and Wisconsin.
The chartering process requires state chapters of Prevent Child Abuse America to demonstrate that their partnerships and programs have a statewide impact and are supported by “a strong mission, brand identity, infrastructure and public awareness, advocacy and evidence-based/informed prevention strategies,” according to a news release.
“These criteria establish a comprehensive but focused framework that maintains the integrity and quality of the chapter network,” explained Anita Odom, PCA America’s Chief Operations Officer for Chapters. “They also allow us to identify what resources are needed to build capacity in a thoughtful and strategic way and combine them with peer-to-peer learning opportunities.”
Chapters come in a variety of flavors, from independent nonprofits to umbrella institutions that include such entities as government agencies, hospitals and universities.
For example, the Utah chapter is a free-standing nonprofit, while the South Carolina chapter operates in conjunction with the South Carolina Children’s Trust Fund. Many are developed and delivered along with a variety of public and private partners.
The move comes as Prevent Child Abuse America prepares in less than two weeks to welcome Jennifer Jones as its new chief strategy officer. Jones, who is intent on integrating the growing scientific understanding of brain development into social and public policy, is leaving her position as director of the Change in Mind Institute at the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities.