The SOAR committee, which comprises over 20 major county agency stakeholders, put together a community wide plan and presented it to the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners in November 2017. The goal of this plan is to reduce child maltreatment by 90% by the year 2030. 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/)
The Center for Family and Community Engagement’s staff member Jenny King joined this committee 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. This group of dedicated family members, professionals, and community partners have been working together for over 5 years to create and develop this community wide action plan to reduce child maltreatment in their county. 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. As of November 2018, the SOAR committee completed their first year of work on their 90 by 30 plan. They presented their yearly findings to the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners who continued to support and approve their plan. 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.