The North Carolina Youth Violence Prevention Center is happy to pursue our mission to prevent youth violence & aggression, decrease rates of juvenile delinquency, bullying and victimization using evidence-based prevention and intervention strategies to increase the quality of life for children, youth and families.
The Center has been proudly working on continuing our core services, while working to expand the Victim Services Division of the NC-YVPC. Thanks to strong support from the community, our core services include Parenting Wisely, Teen Courts in Robesom and Richmond County and the Disproportiate Minority Confiement (DMC) Project.
Check out this great video of the Positive Action Program
This evidence-based intervention has been provided to families throughout Robeson County since 2011. The program focuses on increasing parent-child communication and reducing parent-child conflict. Our model is delivered in a group setting with participants exposed to ten different video scenarios. At the end of each scene, participants are asked how they would respond to each situation. After group discussions, they collectively select a response on how to handle each incident which is submitted to the facilitator to determine if their response is consistent with the video. PW has served 24 families since July 1, 2019. Surveys returned to the program reflect an increased knowledge of positive parenting skills and reduction of conflict amongst the family members living in the home.
Judy Ray, our Parenting Wisely, Coordinator, provided the story below as an example of PW successes.
Kim, a mother of three children, was a graduate of the March 2020 Parenting Wisely group. Kim’s successful completion of the Parenting Wisely curriculum strengthened her parenting skills. She could reunite with all of her children after she successfully completed substance abuse treatment and is now better equipped to handle her daily parenting activities. At graduation, she told the group, “This program saved my family.”
Teen Court develops alternative pathways to empower youth to avoid further involvement in the judicial process by diverting them to community service. Youth are referred by School Resource Officers (S.R.O.s) and juvenile court counselors to Teen Court to have a jury of their peers decide sanctions that repairs the harm caused by the offense without marginalizing the youth. Parents and juvenile justice professionals praise the program for its impact on the youth it serves. In Richmond County, Teen Court has served 7 youthful offenders and recruited 10 new Teen Court volunteers as of January 2020.
Bruce Stanback, Richmond Teen Court Coordinator, shared this story of one of his teen court participants.
“KD's involvement with the Richmond County Teen Court resulted from a simple assault charge from the local middle school. She was referred to us by the Juvenile Justice Office. Prior to her involvement with Teen Court, she was not performing well at school and received multiple disciplinary referrals. After her appearance in court, her demeanor changed drastically. After completing all her requirements for Teen Court, she continued to volunteer, receiving additional training as an attorney advocate so she could "represent" other youth going before a jury of their peers. As her involvement with Teen Court increased, so did her grades and attendance at school resulting in successfully passing the 10th grade! Since becoming a volunteer with Teen Court, KD has decided she wants to pursue a career as an attorney.”
Learn more about what makes Teen Court a special part of the Richmond County community and the ways in which it has helped empower the youth
Check out this great video of the Teen Court Program taking action in Robeson County
VEEP addresses victims of school-related crime such as bullying and teen dating violence, child abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault crime. Victims are often living in poor, rural and ethnically diverse under-served communities with little access to support services. VEEP staff assists by training and implementing a research driven model for school staff, law enforcement and United Way partner agencies to avoid further victimization of the clients they serve.
VEEP staff provides training on the dynamics of victimization and strengthening communication for crisis response using national training curricula. Victims are referred by the teen court program and other programs within the Center, as well as partner agencies throughout Robeson County. VEEP offers counseling and advocacy support using Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and expressive arts methods.
Ashley Prows-Beard, MSW, LCSWA, is our designated Licensed Clinical Social Work Associate who provides the therapeutic services to the victims referred for treatment. She has shared a story of one of her clients that she is very happy about.
I began working with a client who had endured multiple traumas throughout the course of her lifetime. Since working with her, I have witnessed the development and practice of skills in identifying and regulating intense emotions. She consistently utilizes the coping skills she has learned through our therapeutic program to manage difficult feelings and triggers associated with her experiences. Through VEEP, she has obtained safe housing and was able to excel in her studies as she continues to work towards her Bachelors’ degree from UNC Pembroke. She continues to work diligently towards self-awareness and self-care despite not having that behavior modeled for her as a child. She often expresses a desire to advocate for others who have survived traumatic upbringings, domestic violence, and rape. Today, this young woman embodies the meaning of resilience in the face of suffering.
The Center is very proud of its willingness to address unmet needs in the communities we serve. In the fall of 2019, during the implementation of VEEP, we were approached by staff of the Rape Crisis Center of Robeson County, about seeking funds to work with victims of sexual assault through NC CASA’s Sexual Assault Services Program in 2020. With this encouragement, the Center applied and received funding support to increase the time of our two LCSWAs to focus specifically on victims of sexual assault in 2020
The NC-YVPC provides services and resources to community members that could benefit from our wide range of programs or those looking to get more involved in their counties. Link below to see what resources are available and to learn more about NC-YVPC's initiatives