Prevent Child Abuse Virginia, also known as PCAV, is a statewide, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization whose mission is to prevent the abuse and neglect of children throughout the Commonwealth.
For nearly 40 years, PCAV has partnered with the State of Virginia, local community governments and organizations, citizens and the business community to emphasize positive parenting practices as the antidote to child abuse and neglect.
PCAV believes that by educating moms and dads, caregivers and the general public on how to effectively parent children, we can help create communities that are free from abuse and neglect. Accordingly, public education and raising public awareness are a significant part of our work. We also host training programs for professionals who work in the prevention field, and partner with other child advocacy organizations around the state to champion legislation and policies that benefit children and families.
In our efforts to ensure child well-being, our signature programs include:
Healthy Families Virginia – A program offered in 33 communities across the state that connects parents of newborns with a variety of supportive services, including – for the most overburdened families – a free-of-charge home visitor who assists the family before the child is born until the child enters school. The program has been proven to reduce child abuse and neglect and increase children’s access to routine health care and immunizations. As the statewide sponsor of Healthy Families, PCAV provides quality assurance oversight to the 33 local programs. For more information on Healthy Families click here.
Hugs and Kisses – PCAV co-sponsors this renowned child sexual abuse prevention play in partnership with Theatre IV (now the Virginia Repertory Theatre) and the Virginia Department of Social Services. Developed 35 years ago to teach elementary school children how to keep safe from, and to report, sexual abuse, the play reaches more than 50,000 Virginia students each year. To schedule a performance at a school in your community, contact Hugs and Kisses coordinator Ronnie Brown at (800) 235-8687 or (804) 783-1688 Ext 1132.
Circle of Parents – PCAV oversees the Virginia sites for this community-based parenting group, which provides emotional support and education for parents of children from infancy through age 18. The groups meet in 16 communities throughout Virginia and give parents a safe space to learn and mature in their parenting roles. Child-friendly programming is included for young children and youths who accompany their parents to meetings. For more information on the Circle of Parents click here.
800-CHILDREN (800-244-5373) – PCAV’s statewide, toll-free helpline is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Trained call specialists are available to discuss parenting issues and help callers (parents, caregivers, concerned citizens or professionals) explore solutions. For more information on 800-CHILDREN click here.
Child Abuse Prevention Month – PCAV spearheads statewide awareness activities every April, in conjunction with the Virginia Department of Social Services and the Virginia Coalition for Child Abuse Prevention. PCAV helped launch the first Blue Ribbon Campaign, which led to the blue ribbon becoming the nationally-recognized symbol for child abuse prevention. We now help lead the Pinwheels for Prevention campaign, through which Virginians and citizens nationwide are encouraged to purchase and plant pinwheel gardens in April to celebrate children in their communities. For more information on Child Abuse Prevention Month click here.
Family Resource Center – PCAV houses a library of free materials at its headquarters, which features brochures, pamphlets, flyers, magnets and other child development and parenting resources. Parents, professionals and the general public can obtain these resources as needed by contacting PCAV’s 800-CHILDREN Director Ashlee Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PCAV routinely hosts advocacy trainings in communities across the state to train citizens how to speak up for children and families in their local communities and at the state level. We partner with two research professionals to secure and provide current, objective, scientifically-grounded information on parenting best practices. This information is shared with state and local public policy makers through our own legislative advocacy, and in partnership with a grassroots network of advocates statewide who care about children and families.
PCAV provides training for professionals who work in all arenas of prevention, including those work directly with families and their supervisors. We also offer free training to all community residents who are interested in learning how to advocate for children at the state or local level. CLICK HERE to view upcoming training opportunities.
PCAV’s Partners in Prevention
PCAV affiliates are essentially our local chapters. There are currently six throughout Virginia. While we work at the state level, these affiliates are on the front lines in their local communities, working to prevent child abuse and neglect through advocacy, public education and at least one family support program.
Prevent Child Abuse Virginia works on a regular basis with several public and private organizations to accomplish our mission. Recent partners include:
- FACT: Family and Children’s Trust Fund
- The Mary Morton Parsons Foundation
- Anderson/Rogers Foundation
- Memorial Foundation for Children