History & General Information
For forty years Prevent Child Abuse America has engaged in work that is innovative and forward-thinking, as we look towards creating healthier, and happier, futures for children, their families and the country as whole.
Founded in 1972 by Donna J. Stone as the Family Achievement Center, we convened our first national conference on child abuse prevention in 1973. And while the name would change to the National Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse in 1974 and ultimately Prevent Child Abuse America in 1999, the focus on cutting-edge work has continued throughout the organization’s history.
Our first state chapter was formed in Kansas in 1976, which is the same year we launched our first nationwide public service campaign on child abuse in partnership with the Advertising Council.
Initiating a dialogue about the issues that impact children and their families is who we are, and in 1984 we partnered with Marvel Comics to develop a Spider Man comic book focused on sexual abuse, the first in a series to help educate children on child abuse and neglect.
Of course, raising awareness is but part of the battle. There cannot be dialogue without data to support it, and with this in mind, we established the National Center on Child Abuse Prevention in 1986 and published the first annual 50-State Survey in 1987.
Further, to engage the public, but not offer solutions, is not what leading organizations do, and so in 1992 we launched the Healthy Families America initiative, which was followed by the first Healthy Families America national conference in 1994.
As the new Millennium dawned, Prevent Child Abuse America continued to expand its reach and vision. In 1999, and in partnership with the National Family Support Roundtable, the organization received federal funding to support the growth of a national network of parent self-help and mutual support programs which evolved into the Circle of Parents program.
This was followed that same year by a three-year grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to develop and launch a new public service advertising campaign in partnership with the Advertising Council
1999 also saw the release of a new report funded by the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, which showed how the U.S. spent approximately $94 billion per year as a direct or indirect result of child abuse and neglect. This report on the economic update of child abuse and neglect was further updated, and refined, in 2007 and 2012, with funding from the PEW Charitable Foundation and MACY’s respectively.
In 2005 we received the first of two two-year BECAUSE Kids Count! grants from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which were focused on the state of prevention across the country and how best to enhance the presence and impact of evidence-based programming.
In 2008 came a three-year grant in partnership with Purdue University and the National Indian Child Welfare Association from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency for the Tribal Youth Victimization and Delinquency Project.
And in 2011 a one-year grant from the Ms. Foundation to focus on preventing child sexual abuse, while expanding the impact of the ENOUGH Abuse campaign.
Along the way, we also launched Pinwheels for Prevention and more recently, served as co-founders of the National Movement for America’s Children, both efforts to redefine the national conversation about what prevention is and activate the public to recognize the roles they play, and might play, in preventing child abuse and neglect before it ever occurs.
Looking forward we have begun the development of a bullying prevention center, we continue to advocate for a national plan for the nation’s children, and intend to be at another forty years, or more, raising awareness, impacting policy, and activating the public to recognize that we all play a role in ensuring that all children have the opportunity to lead healthy, and happy, lives.