To prevent the abuse and neglect of Utah’s children.
For 30 years the mission of Prevent Child Abuse Utah (PCAU) has been to forge and guide a community commitment to prevent child abuse in all its forms through programs, services, public awareness activities, training and education, advocacy and networking. We are the only nonprofit organization in the state whose funding and energy are fully and completely dedicated to the prevention of child abuse. To accomplish this mission we have two different departments within the agency; school-based and in-home.
PCAU works with the Utah education system to provide school-based child abuse prevention programs. The Utah State Office of Education approves of PCAU’s school-based curriculum since it meets the core curriculum values. Because of this, we only allow bachelor-level prevention specialists to teach these programs during school hours. Topics the prevention specialists train on include child abuse prevention, bullying prevention, Internet safety and teen dating violence awareness.
We have two different in-home parenting programs. Healthy Families Utah provides in-home parenting education for at-risk and first-time parents. The program begins with pregnancy and follows the family through the first five years of the child’s life. Our other in-home program is Safe Families Utah. This program offers parenting education classes to help families recognize and understand the various types of abuse and neglect and also learn more positive discipline techniques. Families participate in the program on a voluntary basis to help them learn how to access community resources, learn necessary skills and strengthen parenting skills.
PCAU is under the direction of a governing board of directors. These individuals are of the highest caliber and represent the most influential and respected members of our state. The board members choose to serve because they have complete faith in the effectiveness and legitimacy of our agency. The board members are very active and serve in a voluntary capacity.
Q: Who do you serve?
A: The goal of child abuse prevention is simple—to stop child abuse and neglect from happening in the first place, sparing children and families emotional and physical trauma and decreasing the need for costly intervention and treatment services. The best way to prevent child abuse and neglect is to support families and provide children with the skills and resources they need. By learning why child abuse occurs, and how we can prevent it, we are one step closer to ending the cycle of child abuse in Utah.
Q: What is your organization’s proudest accomplishment?
A: Prevent Child Abuse Utah’s greatest accomplishment over our 30 year history has been our Pinwheels for Prevention Campaign. This campaign takes place during the whole month of April which is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.
Pinwheels represent the bright and playful future all children should have. The Pinwheels for raises awareness in the community that everyone can help prevent child abuse. Prevent Child Abuse Utah started this campaign in 2010, and it swept across Utah, as businesses, schools and communities looked for a way to get involved. Pinwheel gardens have been planted in many counties throughout the state since this campaign began. Others have been able to display bouquets in their place of business. Fast food chains have participated by selling pinwheel cards helping us raise funds and bring more awareness to the prevention of child abuse. Billboards, commercials and radio ads have helped spread the awareness statewide.
PCAU plans to continue our efforts with this campaign as it continues to grow and bring awareness to our mission, agency and the prevention of child abuse. Every year our efforts and support increase with agencies, schools and businesses as citizens across the state come together to stand up against child abuse. The simple symbol of a pinwheel has created great responsiveness with Utahans to want to be part of this growing awareness effort. This fun, simple, educational campaign has drawn attention to our agency and the mission we strive to fulfill year-round bringing a positive approach to the education we provide to families, schools and communities.
Q: What is your greatest need?
A: Program Expansion – Statewide Increased Program Funding
Q: What are your organization’s plans for the future?
A: Healthy Families Utah, an in-home family abuse prevention.