The Mississippi Department of Child Protective Services (MDCPS) has awarded Jackson State’s School of Social Work a $150,000 grant to create public awareness regarding child abuse prevention and to strengthen families in Hinds county facing those obstacles.
“This grant supports the School of Social Work’s emphasis on vulnerable children, youth, and families,” says Isiah Marshall, associate dean for the School of Social Work. “It prepares our students and faculty, through training and research to address complex social issues in today’s society. As an urban research university, this grant solidifies connections to the communities that we serve here in Hinds county and throughout the state of Mississippi.”
According to MDCPS, the grant will target the general population in Hinds county through public awareness and education activities in regards to preventing child abuse and neglect. This pilot project, supported by volunteers, students and faculty in the School of Social Work, is titled ‘The Capitol Area Child Abuse Prevention Program’ (CACAPP).
The project features three signature components: The Parent Academy, which are informational forums lead by parents to enhance parental relationships; The Parent Aids, who are students and volunteers that assist parents with life challenges and parenting skills; and the Family Resource Center, which houses literature, books, games, and other materials aimed at strengthening families.
Each programs focus is guided by the use of evidence based protective factors. Protective factors are conditions or attributes in individuals, families, communities, or the larger society that, when present, mitigate or eliminate risk in families and communities that, when present, increase the health and well-being of children and families.
Protective factors help parents find resources, support, or coping strategies that allow them to parent effectively under stress (Child Welfare Information Gateway). Although MDCPS reports a decrease in the number of children in protective care, there is still a need to educate the community and assist families who face social, emotional, and economic challenges, especially for families of color.
“With a national focus on community based services and prevention, our signature programs here in Jackson can serve as a model for other communities across the country,” says Marshall.
This project is coordinated by the following principal investigators:
- Ms. Barbara Cheney (master’s of social work student)
- Dr. Pedro Hernandez
- Dr. Jaegoo Lee
- Dr. Patrice Jenkins
- Dr. Theresia Johnson-Ratliff
- Professor Jacqueline Loggins
- Dr. Isiah Marshall Jr.
- Dr. Jeton McClinton
- Dr. Belinda D. Smith
For more information on CACAPP events, please visit www.jsums.edu/socialwork or call 601-979-8896.