MISSION: To protect our children from all forms of child abuse and neglect, including child sexual abuse, through a collective voice that promotes community responsibility.
To achieve this Mission, POCC's community education and engagement strategies, as well as its policy and practice priorities are guided by the following Principles.
- Preventing child abuse and protecting children is a shared community responsibility; every person has a role to play.
- Every child has the right to live in a safe, nurturing and healthy family connected to encouraged and supported caregivers.
- Preventing all forms of child abuse and maltreatment must be a higher and sustained priority throughout our Commonwealth.
- At the time of initial disclosure, a child should be believed and protected accordingly.
- All interventions should encourage disclosure through a safe and stable process and lead to comprehensive, timely, and on-going child-centered services.
- All community members should be encouraged to report child abuse and reporting should be as straightforward as possible.
- Mandatory reporting requirements must be matched with an expectation of and commitment to high-quality training that is woven into continuing education and licensing requirements for individuals and institutions.
- Every abused child should be connected to multidisciplinary child-focused investigations to promote collaborative fact-finding and to minimize the child's trauma.
- Every child should have full and immediate access to trauma informed physical and behavioral health care services with continued support and monitoring for longer term affects of physical, sexual and/or psychological abuse and trauma.
- Timely, collaborative and prevention-focused responses must be the priority for public and private partners from the time of initial reporting, during investigation and through any resulting judicial proceedings; such responses require adequate public resources.
- All reasonable and appropriate efforts should be made to permit a child to safely remain at home and to ensure that out-of-home placement is utilized when it is in the best interest of the child and in response to situations where either a child's safety cannot be assured or the custodial care is intended to be temporary.
- When dependent children are placed in foster care, there must be a commitment to guard against disruptions and multiple out-of-home placements.
- Dependent children and youth, regardless of age, deserve the permanency that is often better achieved in a permanent family that provides the least restrictive environment where they can achieve legal permanency and connectedness to a nurturing support system.
- Decisions for every at-risk or abused child and the systems that support them must be informed by data, driven by research, and implemented by properly trained and supported professionals.
- Greater transparency and accountability are required of publicly funded services that directly impact the safety, liberty, and custody of the state's children and families.
- Perpetrator accountability should reflect and incorporate an understanding of the life-long impact on child victims' lives as well.
- Recognizing that disclosure often does not occur until the child victim is well into adulthood; survivors require and deserve the opportunity to pursue justice and the full range of victim services.
Juvenile Law Center * Mary Achilles * Children's Advocacy Center of Lawrence County * Children's Alliance Center of Berks County * Family Design Resources * Family Support Policy Board * Heads Held High Inc. * Lutheran Advocacy Ministry in Pennsylvania * Maternity Care Coalition * National Association of Social Workers – PA Chapter * Network of Victim Assistance (Bucks County) * PA Chapter of Child Advocacy Centers and MDT's * PA Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics * PA Coalition Against Domestic Violence * PA Coalition Against Rape * PA Community Providers Association * PA Council of Churches * Cathleen Palm * PA Social Services Union/ Local 668 SEIU * Pathways PA * Philadelphia Children’s Alliance * Pressley Ridge * Public Citizens for Children and Youth * Sexual Assault Resource & Counseling Center of Lebanon/Schuylkill (SARCC) * Support Center for Child Advocates * United Way of Southeastern PA * United way of Westmoreland County * Women Organized Against Rape * Rev. Karl Jones * KidsVoice * PA Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Association * Fight Crime: Invest in Kids