SOAR, which stands for Strengths in Overcoming Adversity thru Resiliency, is a committee comprised of over 40 major county agency stakeholders, dedicated family members, professionals, and community partners who have been working together for over 5 years to come together to reduce child maltreatment in their county. In 2016, PCANC (Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina) established a formal partnership with the county to develop the first CBCAPP with financial support from the Essentials for Childhood project and funding provided by the Division of Social Services for PCANC’s technical assistance and training. The plan, created by the SOAR committee members, meets monthly to create and implement strategies that will help reduce child maltreatment by increasing community knowledge of the impact of ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) and reducing incidences of maltreatment through education and support for the Five Protective Factors identified in the Protective Factor Framework. (Center for Study on Social Policy)The foundations of the plan focuses on strategies that support the five protective factors identified by the Center for the Study of Social Policy to have demonstrated the ability to strengthen families: parental resilience, social connections, knowledge of parenting and child development, concrete support in times of need, and social and emotional competence of children. (For more information about the Strengthening Protective Factors (https://cssp.org/our-work/projects/protective-factors-framework/)
Center for Family and Community Engagement’s staff member Jenny King joined this countywide partnership almost two years ago when she became aware of the engagement efforts taking place on behalf of children and families in the greater Cumberland County area.
Cumberland County is a large county with a population of approximately 327,000 people residing there. (https://datausa.io/profile/geo/cumberland-county-nc/#health) In September 2017, this county had almost 1,000 children in foster care, and they were receiving child abuse reports at the rate of about 1,000 per month. November of 2017, the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners approved the SOAR committee plan, and this group is continuing to make a demonstrated difference more than a year later. Cumberland County has been identified as the lead county in North Carolina for Triple P parenting program implementation, and is being assessed by Family Connects International for their readiness as a county to be able to implement and sustain a universal home visiting model for parents of newborns. The committee continues to work diligently toward their goal, meeting monthly to discuss progress, set sub committee goals and action steps , develop data measurables, connect and welcome new partners, and support the focus of Cumberland County in improving the overall health and well-being of its families, children, and youth. If you are interested in learning more about this committee, please explore their web page at https://ccpfc.org/partners/community-child-abuse-prevention-plan/. The Center for Family and Community Engagement is proud to be a partner in this work.