Black and Indigenous Children Matter

Posted by: Pamela Heisler Tags: There is no tags | Categories: Uncategorized


Black and Indigenous Children Matter

At Prevent Child Abuse Oregon, we believe all children, regardless of race, class, culture or geography, should grow up in safe homes and communities. As a white woman, living in a predominantly white community, I have struggled hard in the last week trying to figure out where I fit into conversations about racism and white privilege. I’ve also struggled as the Executive Director of Prevent Child Abuse Oregon to know what to do and how to do it. The answer I come back to is that there really is no answer- no prefect way to take action, but action is needed.

If you only have 5 minutes today, leave this message and read what Marcus Mundy, the Executive Director of the Coalition of Communities of Color published in an open letter to the community last week. His words speak powerful truths that we must all listen to and truly hear.

When children of color see the adults in their lives being treated differently by police during traffic stops, being followed in stores while shopping, obscenities being yelled at them for picnicking in a park, they grow up afraid. Afraid to play outside. To walk to school. To exist. This is trauma and has long term consequences for their physical, spiritual, and mental health. We can’t ignore this trauma if we believe all children deserve to grow up in safe homes and communities. Black and Indigenous children matter. Black and Indigenous families matter.

Did you know that parents of Black and Indigenous children are more likely to be reported for child abuse and neglect, more likely to have their children removed, and more likely to have those children linger in foster care until they age-out at 18? We recognize child abuse is equally present across all demographics, yet, children of color are more likely to experience traumatic interventions rather than in-home support.

The good news is, this trauma too, like child abuse, is completely preventable.

When we take the time to learn and grow as individuals, we can undo learned behaviors and heal ourselves and our communities, creating a safer environment for all children. When we have conversations with our white children from an early age, they can become allies from the start. They can then mitigate their own harm as they walk through their own lives. Our children and communities deserve this kind of commitment to reduce trauma caused by racism.

Need ideas for how to talk to kids about race? CLICK HERE.

Looking for ways to learn and grow yourself? CLICK HERE.

This is a lifelong journey with no destination that I hope you will join me on. The future of all our children, especially Black and Indigenous children, depends on it.

With compassion,


Parent Workshop: New Normal

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Parent Workshop- Managing in our “New Normal”

Prevent Child Abuse Oregon is proud to host a workshop series for parents by Krista Michaels:

  • Balancing your parent & educator roles
  • Building structure and routines
  • Helping kids cope
  • Practicing & modeling self care

Wednesday May 20th and 27th from 7-9pm on Facebook Live

Help spread the word by sharing our flyer or Facebook post.

Parenting Through the Seasons

Posted by: Pamela Heisler Tags: There is no tags | Categories: Uncategorized


Coalition Launches Campaign to Get Essential Baby Supplies Donated to Vulnerable Families in April

The partnership, known as Parenting Through the Seasons, will deliver essential supplies like diapers, wipes and more to help families impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic

MILWAUKIE, OR, April 6, 2020 – Beginning in April, a new coalition of non-profits and government is working to meet the needs of vulnerable Oregon families in search of baby supplies. The year-long campaign, Parenting Through the Seasons, will include three seasonal invitations for communities to contribute, starting with items needed during the COVID-19 pandemic. From April 6th  to May 6th, Oregonians are invited to donate through Amazon Wish to send much needed items like diapers, wipes, and other essentials to families involved in Healthy Families Oregon (HFO) and Oregon Association of Relief Nurseries (OARN) across Oregon. Local staff will deliver the items directly to their families.

“For every moment we can relieve the stress of parents, we can create a moment for connection,” says Elisabeth Underwood, Administrator for Healthy Families Oregon (HFO).

HFO is a free and voluntary home visiting program that focuses on strengthening the parent-child relationship. In response to COVID-19, in-person home visits have been halted; however, staff are still engaging virtually and, in many cases, delivering supplies to families.

Prevent Child Abuse Oregon Executive Director, Pamela Heisler, explains, “Young children are being shaped today by how they see their families and communities cope with this pandemic…this is our opportunity to show them how communities come together. Let’s shape their memories with hope rather than fear.”

Prevent Child Abuse Oregon (PCAO) is a statewide organization focused entirely on the upstream prevention of child abuse and neglect. Parenting Through the Seasons is being led by PCAO, to directly support families while at the same time, shining a bright light on what successful prevention looks like.

“Relief Nurseries have always engaged their local communities to support vulnerable families and now is the time for us to show unprecedented care for each other,” reminds OARN Executive Director, Cara Copeland. 

Relief nurseries provide a unique array of free comprehensive family support services that are easily accessible to low-income parents and will play a critical role in distributing items to local families.

Learn more at

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Prevent Child Abuse Oregon is a provisional chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America, founded in 1972 to promote the healthy development of children and prevent child abuse. The mission is to strengthen families to prevent child abuse and neglect. PCAO envisions a state where every child lives in a safe home and community, regardless of race, class, culture or geography. To help PCAO please visit or follow PCAO on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.


Oregon Association of Relief Nurseries leads and sustains a network of Relief Nurseries in Oregon through advocacy, resource development and quality assurance.  Our vision is that all children in Oregon thrive in safe, nurturing and stable families.  Collectively each year we serve 1,500 families at risk for child maltreatment.  Our model has been keeping Oregon children safe and families together for over 40 years.  Find out more at and support your local community.


Healthy Families Oregon (HFO) is an accredited multi-site state system with Healthy Families America (HFA) and Oregon’s largest child abuse prevention program. Healthy Families Oregon is a free family support and parent education home visiting program that serves approximately 2,500 families annually. HFO is voluntary and focuses on strengthening the parent-child relationship to assure healthy child growth and development. Home visitors support parents in cultivating and strengthening a nurturing, positive relationship with their baby at each visit. Find out more at

Staying Safe During COVID-19

Posted by: Pamela Heisler Tags: There is no tags | Categories: Uncategorized


Everywhere you go there are lists of free audio books, podcasts, video’s, live book reading from celebrities, and access to learning materials.

For some of us, the stress of this time goes well beyond trying to keep our children entertained during shelter-in-place orders. Some are struggling to meet basic needs, remain calm, and access health and mental health services. Many communities do not have steady access to high speed internet.

For urgent needs, and for those with less internet access, a phone might be your best option to seek help. PCAO has compiled this list of phone numbers to help you during this time. Please let us know if you have other options you’d like to see added.

A list of general resources for families, like financial assistance or food, can be found on our For Parents resource page.

If you suspect a child is being abuse or neglected, call the Oregon Child Abuse Hotline at 1-855-503-SAFE (7233). If a child is in immediate danger, call 911.

National Sexual Assault & Abuse Hotline Call 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or chat online


MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS LINE Call 1-800-273-8255 (24 hr)

SUICIDE LIFELINE Call 800-273-8255 (24 hr) or Text 273TALK to 839863 (8am-11pm PST daily)

MILITARY HELPLINE Call 888-457-4838 (24 hr)
Text MIL1 to 839863 (8am-11pm PST daily)
Support for service members, veterans, and their families that is independent of any branch of the military or government

SENIOR LONELINESS CRISIS LINE Call 503-200-1633 (24 hr)
Supports seniors in our community who are feeling isolated

PARENT WARMLINE Call or text 1-800-698-2392  (24 hr)
peer to peer counseling hotline

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LINE Call 1-888-235-5333 (24 hr)

NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE Call 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224 OR TalkWithUs to 66746. (TTY 1-800-846-8517)

SAFE OREGON HELP LINE Call or text at 844-472-3367

SEXUAL ASSAULT RESOURCE CENTER Call 503-640-5311 (24 hr)

SPANISH SPEAKING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LINE Call 503-232-4448  (24 hr) Project UNICA Crisis line

YOUTHLINE Call 877-968-8491
Text teen2teen to 839863
Chat at
A teen-to-teen crisis and help line. Teens available to help daily from 4-10pm Pacific Time (off-hour calls answered by Lines for Life).

TREVOR PROJECT LINE Call or text 1-866-488-7386 (24 hr)
LGBTQIA+ hotline

NATIONAL PARENT HELPLINE CALL 1-855-427-2736 or visit online

Parent to Parent Peer support Warmline
Hours: Tuesdays, Wednesday & Thursdays from 12:00pm to 7:00pm
Parent to Parent Peer Support Warm line provides support by phone, chat, email and Facebook messaging. REACH OUT OREGON staff and volunteers are well trained and are all parents. They are here to offer support and resources.

Join Pinwheels for Prevention 2020

Posted by: Pamela Heisler Tags: There is no tags | Categories: Uncategorized


Pinwheels for Prevention® is a nationwide public awareness campaign first launched by Prevent Child Abuse America in 2008. The campaign features a blue and silver pinwheel to represent the healthy and carefree childhoods we believe every child deserves. Since the campaign began, over 5 million pinwheels have been displayed nationwide.

After a successful campaign last year, PCAO is primed to take the campaign in Oregon to the next level. During the month of April, PCAO and champions across all 36 counties will turn the state blue and silver.

We want businesses, schools, libraries, churches, and parks to celebrate the great work happening across our state to strengthen families. Ordinary people, just like us, have the power to make a huge impact on the wellbeing of Oregon’s children. 

Our Goals:
30,000 Pinwheels displayed
100 “Champions” Participating  – Individuals, organizations, or businessesPinwheel gardens or other activities in all 36 counties
Support new parents through a partnership with Healthy Families Oregon (exciting announcement coming soon!)

To help us reach this goal, pledge to be a Champion for the campaign by completing our all-in-one 2020 Commitment & Order Form. If you need pinwheels, place your pinwheel order on the 2nd page of the form. If not, just submit the Commitment Form and continue planning!

Ordering pinwheels is not required – join the campaign even if you are reusing pinwheels from a previous year, not using pinwheels, or found pinwheels elsewhere.

Learn more about Pinwheels for Prevention today.

Program Feature: Keeping Families Together

Posted by: Pamela Heisler Tags: There is no tags | Categories: Uncategorized


The Keeping Families Together (KFT) is an initiative that aims to prevent child abuse and maltreatment for children ages zero to ten, while also keeping kids out of foster care. The KFT model is adapted from the evidence-based Communities That Care approach (CTC) that works to mobilize entire communities to work towards preventing the underlying predictors of child abuse and maltreatment while also promoting practices that support the overall well-being of all children.

Communities that Care is a nationally recognized evidence-based model that has been very successful in reducing juvenile crime, teen pregnancy, school dropout, and underage drinking. A recent 24-community site-randomized controlled trial of CTC found positive results on community-wide adoption of science-based approaches to prevention; high fidelity implementation of evidence-based prevention programs; and reduced levels of youth risk factors, lower prevalence of youth violence and delinquency, and delayed onset of drug use.

Recent evidence suggests that KFT is successfully adapting the model for child abuse prevention.

Keeping Families Together works to prevent child abuse by educating and inspiring communities to collaborate. Spearheaded by Program Director, Mickey Lansing-Luehrs and Directors of Community Coordination, Jean Vinson and Kerri Vann, KFT works with viable communities to gather resources and implement evidence-based prevention programs.

The KFT initiative works with communities through five key stages; 1) preparing to introduce the model to the community; 2) forming a community board or coalition; 3) developing a community profile that includes communities most urgent needs and the resources they have available (i.e, risk and protective factors); 4) creating a community action plan; and 5) implementing and evaluating prevention efforts.

“Many community leaders indicate this is the first time that collective action has been so effective in mobilizing the entire community to transform how their communities care for and support their most vulnerable families,” said Program Director, Mickey Lansing-Luehrs.

Hood River, for example, decided to implement Positive Behavioral Interventions in their schools, expand parenting classes, increased their educational opportunities, expanded access to the Healthy Families Oregon prevention program, and implemented system-wide changes called Home Visiting Connection. Springfield opted for similar changes but also prioritized services for Differential Response families, and organized community-wide training on Disempowerment and Self-Efficacy in Chronic Neglect.

Both communities utilized the resources they had available to them to create their best version of wrap-around services, and both communities saw promising outcomes as a result. Data from a recent analysis (2011-2014) revealed that maltreatment screening rates, over a three year period, decreased by 9% in Hood River and an even more impressive 25% in Springfield.

“It’s communities where big things happen,” said Director of Community Coordination, Jean Vinson.

“One of the most effective ways to prevent child abuse and maltreatment happens when all communities mobilize to improve the futures of families and children.”

Because that’s what prevention is really about. Coming together as communities to help promote the wellbeing of our children and families—fostering a better future for our society—doing the right thing for the people who need us the most. 

Want to learn more?


Program Director, Mickey Lansing-Luehrs.

Director of Community Coordination, Jean Vinson

Harvest at the Vineyard

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Join PCAO at the beautiful and rustic Helvetia Vineyards and Winery for an afternoon celebrating the great childhoods we want for all kids.

Join PCAO at the beautiful and rustic Helvetia Vineyards and Winery for an afternoon celebrating the great childhoods we want for all Oregon kids while enjoying local wine pairing, chocolate tasting, and live music. Special guest speakers to be announced shortly.

Take home a bottle of your very own PCAO labeled Chardonnay or Pinot Noir! All proceeds benefit Prevent Child Abuse Oregon.

Each ticket receives 1 complimentary glass of wine.

Get your tickets today via


Prevent Child Abuse Oregon strongly opposes the separation of children from their parents, as well as the conditions in which those children and families are being held in ICE Detention Centers across the United States. Beyond moral concerns, the research is clear that separating children from their parents has long-term psychological and physical health consequences. Even when they are later reunited, children who experienced separation are more likely to exhibit anxiety, depression, PTSD, lower IQ, and issues with immune system functioning, physical, growth, cancer and early death. To add to the toxic stress these children experience through separation, recent reports from the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security detail substandard conditions at facilities that in some cases were “egregious violations of detention standards”. To date, at least 7 children have died in our Nation’s custody. First-hand accounts from children ages 10 to 15 in a Texas facility detail inadequate food, water, and sanitation and children being expected to care for babies and toddlers. In the state of Oregon, these conditions would be grounds for removal from a caregiver. In this case, the “caregiver” is us. Prevent Child Abuse Oregon urges its congressional delegation to do more to end the abuse of children in ICE custody.

Drawing from Child in ICE Detention


Child Abuse Prevention Month has Arrived

Posted by: Pamela Heisler Tags: There is no tags | Categories: News


April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and we are proud to partner with PCA Chapters across the country to promote safe kids through the Pinwheels for Prevention campaign. You may be seeing our signature blue and silver pinwheels pop up all over the state- in display cases, at front desks, and in gardens large and small. The symbol of the pinwheel represents the safe and happy childhoods all kids deserve and are a reminder that we all have a role in creating #GreatChildhoods. There are activities all month long- see our calendar to learn more.

For real-time updates from events across the state, find us on Facebook.

A special thank you goes to all our partners in the state who joined for this year’s campaign (and to the many others participating that we missed here!):

Beaverton Women’s Club
CASA of Linn County
Children’s Advocacy Center of Lincoln County
Community Services Consortium Head Start
Dala’s Blue Angels/Lebanon Police Department
Douglas Cares
Family Building Blocks
Family Development Center
Ford Family Foundation
Grant-Harney CASA
Guardian Care Center, CAIC
Head Start Lane County
Steve Lipsey
Kids Center/Crook County
LAM Research
Legacy Emanuel Children’s Hospital
Linn-Benton Community College
Malhuer County Community Development
Metro West Ambulance
Northwest Parenting
Oregon Coast Community Action-Casa Of Coos County
Oregon Department of Human Services Child Welfare
Oregon Network of Child Abuse Intervention Centers
Parenting Now!
Pearl Buck Center
Philomath Youth Activities Club
Portland Public Schools Head Start
Salem-Keizer Head Start
UCAN Head Start & Early Head Start
Washington County DA’s Office
YMCA Douglas County

Governor Brown has released a Child Abuse Prevention Month Proclamation along with many county and city jurisdictions. There’s still time to get involved and join the cause- see our Pinwheels for Prevention page for ideas.