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Exchange Parent Aide History

The National Exchange Club (NEC) -- an all-volunteer service organization -- adopted the Prevention of Child Abuse as its National Project in 1979.  Exchange Parent Aide is currently implemented through Exchange Child Abuse Prevention Centers and other organizations across the United States.

Exchange Parent Aide evolved from knowledge and experience of the dynamics surrounding child abuse and neglect. It is based on the work of Sharon Pallone in Little Rock, Arkansas as well as research and concepts first introduced by Drs. Ray Helfer and Henry Kempe, pioneers in the 1960s in the field. Their leading research on the battered child syndrome expressed belief that most parents who abuse their children are not psychotic and were likely to have been abused themselves as children. Most abusive parents grew up without positive role models for good parenting and often have difficulty developing healthy and trusting relationships.

The Exchange Parent Aide Model has been practiced since 1981 and is offered by over 70 accredited Exchange Child Abuse Prevention Centers across the U.S. The Exchange CAP Centers work directly with parents to promote healthy families and counter abuse. Each center, sponsored in part by a local Exchange Club, also provides public awareness and education and may offer a variety of other services as well -- all geared toward making child abuse prevention a priority. Through its many programs and services, Exchange CAP Centers have helped nearly 700,000 families break the cycle of violence, thereby creating safer homes for approximately 1.7 million children.
The National Exchange Club was the winner of a Presidential Award from the White House Office of Private Sector Initiatives recognizing exemplary community outreach and volunteer service projects. The NEC Child Abuse Prevention Services Department is a charter member of The National Child Abuse Coalition and is a Partner in Prevention, along with other national child abuse prevention organizations, through affiliation with the Children's Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 
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