Child-abuse prevention agency may have to close

08/30/2009 12:00 AM

08/28/2009 5:51 PM

A Statesville-based agency that works with families to prevent child abuse in their homes may have to close its Mooresville office because the recession has curtailed giving, its executive director said.

Exchange/SCAN Child and Parenting Center will close its south Iredell location at the end of December unless it can raise the $12,000 needed to keep it running, Amy Eisele said. SCAN stands for “Stop Child Abuse Now.”

“The loss of one of only two offices in this county would be tragic,” Eisele said. “No child should be sacrificed for $12,000.”

Exchange/SCAN is feeling the effects of an economic downturn that has lessened giving to many nonprofits.

Because attendance was down, Exchange/SCAN received $12,000 to $15,000 less from the annual “Stocks for Tots” fundraiser hosted by Mooresville's motorsports community at the Charles Mack Citizen Center.

The annual Cotton Ketchie Art Festival in downtown Mooresville used to generate another $20,000 but wasn't held this year – again because of the economy, Eisele said.

“These significantly impacted our ability to meet the budget, which has been severely cut,” she said.

Exchange/SCAN, which has a $284,449 annual budget, also received less money from United Way and the state, Eisele said. And a grant the agency had received every two years went instead to help Mecklenburg County residents needing food and shelter.

At least 34 N.C. children died in the past year as a result of abuse and neglect, Eisele said. “Because of agencies like SCAN that service our families on a daily basis, none of these deaths were children from Iredell County,” she said.

The agency saves the county at least $470 a month for each child under 5 that it keeps out of foster care; $581 a month for each child age 6 through 12; and at least $634 a month for each one 13 and older, Eisele said.

Exchange/SCAN's Mooresville office has a full-time staff member for its Parent Aide Program who also teaches parenting classes. The office also has a part-time staff member who works with its Supervised Visitation Program and two part-time staffers who work with children whose behaviors suggest they're at risk of getting into trouble with the law.

Last year, the Mooresville office served at least 270 Mooresville-Lake Norman residents through its various programs.

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