The Mount Pleasant Dee Norton Child Advocacy Center is a premier regional resource for preventing abuse, protecting children, and healing families. The center is innovative to meet the demand for services amid the pandemic. However, the nonprofit still needs community support to provide vital services.
Through collaboration between key partners, internal innovations, and the generosity of the community, the nonprofit has been able to increase the number of families helped during the pandemic to an average of nearly 100 children per month.
“The pandemic has put a strain on everyone’s coping resources, and the effects are multiplying for children who have been abused and need therapy for their trauma symptoms,” said Dr. Carole Swiecicki, Executive Director of the Dee Norton Child Advocacy Center. “Rather than leaving these children without treatment because of their nightmares, fears, and sadness, our generous community stepped forward so that their therapy can continue and they can move toward recovery.”
At the beginning of the pandemic, Dee Norton identified internal barriers such as: B. the virtual provision of services. The generosity of the donors helped move the organization forward with new practices so staff could research, purchase, and install additional technology, as well as conduct a needs assessment of customers to resume virtual therapy.
“When the pandemic broke out, Dee Norton shared the dilemma of how to stop offering therapy when a face-to-face meeting is no longer possible,” said Bob Mason, founder of the Bumper “T” Caring Clown Program and long-time supporter of Dee Norton. “It became clear that an obstacle was making iPads and tablets available to children and families so they could meet virtually. I’ve seen a place where I can make a difference by providing funding to buy the necessary equipment and security software. “
As a community-embedded organization, Dee Norton can meet the needs by working closely with key partners such as law enforcement and the South Carolina Department of Social Services. At the start of the pandemic, this multidisciplinary team set up a triage system for forensic interviews to ensure that the most vulnerable children were seen as soon as possible.
To learn more about how to prevent child abuse, visit deenortoncenter.org.