The Dee Norton Lowcountry Children’s Center Celebrates 25 Years of Healing

12 May The Dee Norton Lowcountry Children’s Center Celebrates 25 Years of Healing

by Dr. Carole Campbell Swiecicki, DNLCC Executive DirectorCarole 2016

Thanks to the Charleston community, the Dee Norton Lowcountry Children’s Center (DNLCC) is celebrating 25 years of serving children and families when there is a concern about abuse! We are privileged to have helped over 25,000 children since we opened in 1991, and we are committed to achieving positive change for thousands more children in the years to come. In 2015 alone, the steadfast support of our Lowcountry community allowed DNLCC to:

  • Provide 20% more forensic interviews to children about whom a concern of abuse was raised.
  • Improve the ability to meet children’s needs more quickly and effectively by:
    • Reducing the average wait time for a non-emergency appointment by more than a week, even while interviewing 248 more children than in 2014.
    • Ensuring emergency appointments were available for children to be seen the same day there was a concern.
    • Cutting the time between a child’s interview and the staffing with community partners by more than half, allowing investigators to have the information they need more quickly.
  • Expand our array of research-supported therapies, including one designed to prevent children’s long-term distress in the immediate days after abuse happens.
  • Broaden the impact of our services through national training and recognition–five staff presentations which show our expertise were accepted for presentation at upcoming national conferences.

More than ever, the past year showed us that the need for our services is ever-growing. In Charleston and Berkeley counties, it is estimated that over 14,000 children experience abuse every year. Less than half of these children are likely to disclose their abuse during childhood. Our Child Abuse School Liaison Program is just one of our efforts to help adults recognize the signs of abuse and to know what to do if a child reports abuse. As more and more children and families bravely come forward, DNLCC must be here for them.

It is an honor to be part of a community like Charleston where, when a tragedy happens, we work together to overcome it. Many of the children seen at DNLCC over the last 25 years had experienced horrible abuse. But, because of community support, they had access to services that gave them the opportunity to achieve their dreams and become the strongest advocates to break the cycle of abuse. In Charleston, DNLCC has been, and continues to be, the place that helps children overcome abuse and trauma.

Our vision is to be THE Leading Child Abuse and Trauma Center—Changing the World, One Child at a Time. We strive to achieve positive change for children because we are equipped with the expertise, and, through community support, the resources to do so. For those children who are in need, it is our role to help them. We thank our highly-skilled staff and community partners for their unwavering commitment to keeping children safe from abuse and trauma, and when either occurs, bringing healing to these children and their families. While the pain may seem unimaginable to us at times, with continued community support, we will remain THE place of healing–one child at a time.