Parents and Children Together

Daily Point of Light # 1334 Mar 16, 1999

Organized in 1978, Parents and Children Together (PACT) is a community agency whose only purpose is the prevention of child abuse and neglect through strengthening families. More than 400 volunteers support the efforts of the staff to deliver a variety of programs throughout Morgan County.

Today, PACT, the oldest child abuse prevention agency in Alabama, has 15 programs that are provided without charge. Their goal is to reach as many people as possible; last year the staff and volunteers served more than 4,000 people.

PACT'S school programs include WHAT TADOO, a program that teaches first graders what to do if approached by a stranger; BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY, a puppet show for third graders detailing how to deal with all forms of abuse; FAMILY PRIDE, a seventh grade program dealing with the importance of families, problem-solving, anger management, and child abuse awareness; and THE PARENTING PROFESSION, a tenth grade parenting course which focuses on the roles of both mothers and fathers, as well as the needs of children.

PACT'S hospital programs are delivered to the two area hospitals. In the NEWBORN program, new mothers receive parenting information and referrals to other PACT programs. FIRST STEPS is offered to all new moms and provides a mentor for at least three months providing emotional and educational support as well as referrals to other community agencies.

Community programs include BABY TALK, which is a series of prenatal parenting classes; EVEN START, a weekly family literacy program that strengthens families through adult basic education and job preparation; NORTH ALABAMA SKILLS CENTER PARENTING, a six-day parenting course integrated into the GED curriculum; EMERGENCY DAY CARE, provided for children referred by local child protective services workers; and PACT's largest program, HEALTHY FAMILIES, an innovative home-visitation program for first-time mothers which offers intensive services focused on parent education and support for the first five years of the child's life.

This successful partnership of the home, the school and the community focuses on parental involvement and is based on the philosophy that parents are their children's first and most influential teachers.

PACT has been recognized at the local, state and national levels for excellence in programming, effective use of volunteers, and community support and involvement. This organization's work has had, and will continue to have, a lasting impact on the citizens of Morgan County, especially the children. Because of PACT, the children are safer and healthier and have a better chance to lead happy, productive lives.