provided to support local programs
Partners in Prevention grants awarded
parents participated in 181 Circle of Parents groups
years of preventing child abuse and neglect statewide


More Than Meals

For families in Logan County, Step by Step’s meal delivery program during the pandemic has provided more than food.

After a few rounds of deliveries, Step by Step staff noticed that at one of their stops, the eight siblings who regularly ran up to greet them were never wearing shoes. They learned from a conversation with the children’s mother that the family was struggling because the father was out of work.

On their next trip, they decided, they’d have to come not just bearing meals, but a few other much-needed items as well.

They reached out to community partners, and soon their van was stocked so full it was almost overflowing—shoes, clothes, backpacks, and hygiene packets were squeezed into the nooks and crannies between bags of food.

When Step by Step staff unveiled these treasures to the siblings, there were “oohs” and “aahs” and exclamations of delight. They instantly dropped to the ground to pull on their new shoes and show each other what they’d gotten.

Beyond offering some physical necessities, the Step by Step team was also able to help facilitate a moment of surprise and joy for the family.

Tackling Virtual School with a Tutor

Without access to internet service, virtual schooling was hardly an option for Jenna’s family when COVID-19 hit.

Jenna had just been adopted by her long-term foster family, and though they’d seen her levels of confidence and comfort increase greatly in that time, she was still very shy and struggling with a number of learning disabilities. It was especially essential for Jenna that, somehow, her education continue uninterrupted by the pandemic.

Upon finding out about High Rocks Educational Corporation, a Partners in Prevention team in Greenbrier County, the family experienced enormous relief at this wonderful opportunity: Jenna could resume her tutoring there, with COVID-19 precautions in place.

During her first virtual tutoring sessions, Jenna was nervous—but she wasn’t alone. A Partners in Prevention team member was by her side the whole time to help unlock her potential.

Initially, when Jenna was asked a question, she would respond only in a tiny whisper and (over Zoom) the tutor couldn’t hear her at all. In the middle of the second session, though, the Partners in Prevention team member privately messaged the tutor to ask Jenna about her cat, as her mom had earlier mentioned that this was an exciting new addition to the family. Right away it was like a switch had been flipped: Jenna lit up, and for the next twenty minutes, she gushed and chattered on about her new pet. Her fear was gone, and she was ready to start learning.

Now when Jenna enters High Rocks, she bounces in like she owns the place, gives the scoop on her week (and cat), and gets right into tackling her homework with the tutor.

Help for Grandfamilies in Need

For Clara, like for most of us, this past holiday season was shaping up to be a tough one. Then, just after Thanksgiving, she found herself suddenly in custody of her young grandson. When he arrived, it was in summer clothes that didn’t even fit.

In spite of the good she knew could come from stepping into this role in her grandson’s life, she was frightened that she might not have the financial means or stores of energy to truly give him what he needed. And the many obstacles posed by COVID-19 only made things trickier.

She reached out to the Gilmer County Family Resource Network, and with a few other community partners, they managed to gather several bags of clothing and toys for the child. They also connected the family with additional holiday assistance services and signed Clara up for the Healthy Grandfamilies program.

A few weeks later, the Gilmer County team received a Christmas card from Clara, full of thanks on behalf of herself and her grandson for making their holiday—and the start of this part of their journey together—so much brighter.

REACHH Responds to the Pandemic

Before the REACHH van is put in park, Noah is already outside, the screen door slamming behind him.

Unable to provide their regular after school activities due to the pandemic, the REACHH Family Resource Network in Summers County quickly shifted gears by offering food delivery and virtual tutoring sessions to students in remote areas of the county.

Amidst the day-to-day unpredictability of the past few months, the consistent arrival of the REACHH van in front of students’ homes is something many kids (and families) have come to look forward to and depend upon. Noah is one of those kids—always eager to greet the delivery team the moment they pull up.

On a recent visit, Noah was waiting for the van with a friend. He asked the REACHH staff, a bit timidly, if it would be alright for him to share the food they’d brought. From that point on, the van showed up to Noah’s house with an extra bag of food in tow.

It may be a small gesture, but it’s ensured that both Noah and his friend have been able to finish their homework and fall asleep at night with a full belly.


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