The Parent Child Center of Tulsa provides a broad range of child abuse and neglect prevention services for children ages 0 – 12 who are at risk for or who have suffered some of the most adverse and traumatic experiences of early childhood. PCCT offers three levels of prevention services: Community Education, Family Support Services and Therapeutic Services.
Recently CPC staff had the opportunity to gather the insights of the PCCT Executive Director, Desiree Doherty. Here’s what she shared:
CPC: What are the challenges you face within the child welfare system in Tulsa?
It sometimes feels daunting to be working to better protect children in a state with high rates of every bad thing we know to be harmful to children. We are also challenged by the fact that many parts of the child protection system face enormous pressures (large caseloads, billing constraints, budget cuts, productivity ratios, bureaucracy, etc.). Couple that with unrelenting day to day exposure to complex trauma, and you have a system that doesn’t always have the capacity it needs (time, energy, right focus on greatest effectiveness) to best help families get what they need in order to create safety for children.
CPC: What do you feel are the positive impacts you make on kids’ lives in our community?
It sounds trite to use that phrase, “…making a difference one (fill in the blank) at a time.” But that”s exactly how an organization like Parent Child Center can accomplish such positive impacts in the face of such great need. By repairing parent/child relationship and creating safe attachment for one child and one caregiver at a time. What we accomplish is pretty amazing, mostly because of the powerful ripple effect into the future that is created when one more child is safe and healthy cognitively, physically and social-emotionally. Then he or she has the best chance to grow and learn and become a healthy and productive adult and a safe parent themselves one day…instead of the alternative. So we view our impact in terms of the strength, health and safety of the parent/child relationship and what that means to the child’s life trajectory.
CPC: What is the one thing you would like the public to know about the work you do?
It’s all about relationship, at every level.
CPC: Why do you feel it is important for your agency to be involved in the Child Protection Coalition?
Because Parent Child Center has a strategic vision for contributing to and influencing quality improvements in key systems that protect children. None of us working alone can adequately address the extensive and complicated needs of vulnerable children and parents. I see the Coalition as the place to help forge relationship with other professionals in order to better understand, communicate, support and respond more constructively to and with each other and the families we are all serving. I remember when the Coalition was first formed, to address the stuff that we hadn’t been able to figure out in isolation. The easy stuff was already being taken care of. So we created a table where we come together to work on the tough stuff. Who does that?! Well, all of us at the table do that because alone we will never “move the needle” on child abuse and neglect and all it’s consequences…which concern and cost us all as a community.
CLICK HERE to read an interview with Desiree Doherty published by the Tulsa World on June 21, 2016 covering the status of Oklahoma in the 2016 Kids Count Data.