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Office Location:

Valerie Woodard Center
3205 Freedom Drive
Charlotte, NC 28208
Hours: Mon-Fri  8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

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Web Services

​MeckBetter Together

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Meck
Better
Together

MeckBetterTogether is a campaign that aims to maximize the efforts of child and family caring agencies and the community to support families and address safety and wellbeing of children, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. This joint child and youth caring initiative is the result of partnerships between DSS, CMS, Smart Start, CCRI, Parks & Recreation, and the Library.

The online toolkit below includes County and community partner resources that are available to residents. This list will be monitored and updated with the most current information available.


Child Safety

Prevent Child Abuse NC

As the COVID-19 crisis evolves, Prevent Child Abuse NC (PCANC) remains steadfast in our mission to ensure that child maltreatment prevention is a priority for North Carolina and all communities have the knowledge, support and resources to prevent child abuse and neglect.

We know that times of crisis put families under great stress and can lead to significant increases in the risk of child maltreatment. North Carolina expects a rise in both domestic violence and child abuse and neglect cases as families are socially isolated and the unemployment rate skyrockets. In this environment, any family may be at risk.

If you suspect child abuse, please call 980-31-HELPS (43577)

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Pat’s Place Child Advocacy Center

Pat’s Place Child Advocacy Center coordinates the investigation, treatment, and prosecution of the most serious cases of child abuse in Mecklenburg County. We provide a physical environment where a child’s well-being is our first priority and break the cycle of abuse through training, education, and community outreach.

All children should grow up safe, healthy, and protected. Each of us has a responsibility to ensure that children have nurturing relationships and safe environments. It is vital that adults learn how to recognize and respond when children and teens need help due to concerns of abuse or neglect. Pat’s Place offers a variety of educational opportunities to prepare for this responsibility. Groups of all kinds may request training, including educators, parents, youth serving organizations, communities of faith, and other concerned citizens.


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Children's Alliance

The Children's Alliance is a network of approximately 40 public and private agencies in Mecklenburg County which collectively serve at risk children and families in our community. Beyond sharing information and collaboration, The Children's Alliance engages in a variety of public policy matters. We believe that our collective voices lend an important influence in shaping policies and legislation that impact children and families. Our website has current information about our member agencies and information on how to contact them for appropriate services.

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Suspect Child Abuse?

 

Gun Safety and Prevention

HealthyChildren.org

Did you know that roughly a third of U.S. homes with children have guns? In fact, nearly 2 million children live with unlocked, loaded guns. Parents may not realize what a serious injury risk a gun in the home is, especially for children.

HealthyChildren.org is the only parenting website backed by 67​,000 pediatricians committed to the attainment of optimal physical, mental, and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents, and young adults.

View a poster on Gun Safety.

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Be SMART

BeSMART is a public education campaign asking gun owners and non-gun owners alike to take simple steps to reduce the number of unintentional shootings, suicides, and homicides that occur when children or teens gain access to guns that are not stored responsibly. Our organization is non-profit and not political. We don't discuss gun laws or policies. Our intent is to elevate awareness of gun safety practices that save lives.

The BeSMART campaign encourages parents and caretakers, gun owners and non-gun owners alike, to ‘Be SMART’ and take these simple steps:

  • Secure guns in homes and vehicles.
  • Model responsible behavior.
  • Ask about unsecured guns in other homes.
  • Recognize the role of guns in suicide.
  • Tell your peers to be SMART.

  • Learn More

Announcements and Opportunities

Registeryour child for Camp CMS
MHA Monthly Announcements
Child Abuse Prevention Month

Recreational Activities

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Park and Recreation

While Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation facilities remain closed, there are still opportunities for families to participate in our virtual programs.

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Educational Resources

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Child Care Resources Inc.

Child Care Resources Inc. is a private, non-profit child care resource and referral agency that works with families and communities to help ensure that all children have access to high-quality, affordable early learning and school-age opportunities and experiences that enable them to succeed in school and in life.

To learn more about CCRI and the services we provide, please visit our website.

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Learning at Home

This online resource offers age-specific activities for children from birth to age five. These activities are designed to support children’s language and communication, cognitive development, social-emotional skills, physical development, and approaches to learning.
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Taking Care

CCRI has put together fun and easy activities – both from our Early Learning Team and from other experts in the field – to keep children learning at home and in child care.
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Ready, Set, Go!

Help your child get ready for kindergarten! This guide provides support for both children and families for every stage of the transition to the school-age years.
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Smart Start of Mecklenburg County

Smart Start of Mecklenburg County is a private, nonprofit partnership that funds local programs for children ages birth to five and their families. The Partnership mobilizes resources, forges partnerships, and supports families to improve early childhood health, education and development and ensure children are prepared for kindergarten. Their four areas of focus are early care and education quality and accessibility, family support, health, and early literacy for children birth to five. Visit their programs page for a complete list of funded programs.

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Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) provides academic instruction, rigor and support each school day to more than 148,299 students in kindergarten through 12th grade in 176 schools throughout Mecklenburg County. CMS is proud of its diverse mix of students who represent 183 countries and speak 197 languages and dialects. CMS offers an extensive range of magnet programs in 68 of its schools to nurture the talents of students who have interest and ability in specific areas. CMS also educates, supports and meets the needs of students with learning and physical disabilities.

Get back to school with our remote learning resources.

CMS Eats at Home

The U.S. Department of Agriculture extended the Summer Food Service Program into 2021. This allows Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools to continue serving free meals to all children through the end of the 2020-2021 school year.

Children who are 18 and under are eligible for these nutritious meals; they do not have to be a CMS student to participate. Students returning to in-person learning will receive breakfast and lunch daily when they are in school. Meal bundles will still be available to cover their remote-learning days.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

Did you know that you can continue to stay connected to the Library while staying home? How would you like to participate in a virtual storytime with your family or receive resume help all from the comfort of your couch? Join Charlotte Mecklenburg Library every week for a wide range of virtual programming for children, teens and adults.

When libraries and schools work together, everyone wins. All CMS students are automatically enrolled in the ONE Access program. Your student’s school ID number is their library card! This means any CMS can use their school ID number to access a wealth of digital resources.

Did you know you and your virtual learner can use your library card or ONE Access number to access Tutor.com for free? All you need is a library card and an internet connection to engage in 10 sessions with a live, online, qualified tutor every week!

Have you visited our Digital Library branch? The digital branch is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Even in bad weather or in the middle of the night, the digital branch is open.

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Communities In Schools

Communities In Schools (CIS) is the nation’s largest organization dedicated to empowering students to stay in school and on a path to a brighter future. Working directly inside schools, CIS connects students to caring adults and community resources to help them succeed inside and outside the classroom and reach their greatest potential.

PDF Brochure

Learn More

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Read Charlotte

Read Charlotte is a collaborative, community-wide initiative to double the percentage of third grade students reading at grade level from 39% in 2015 to 80% by 2025. Housed under the Foundation For The Carolinas, Read Charlotte is organized as a backbone organization leading a collective impact effort across Mecklenburg County. Focusing on the continuum from birth through third grade, Read Charlotte builds collaborative partnerships and provides resources on proven practices and/or programs. Read Charlotte plays a leadership role but does not directly operate the programs. Working groups comprised of experts and community members have helped to select strategies, identify community indicators and define a strategic plan that will guide Read Charlotte’s work through 2025.

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Reading Checkup

Reading Checkup is a free online tool for Mecklenburg County families to help PreK-3rd grade children stay on track with reading. Parents and caregivers can use the Reading Checkup to find out their child’s current reading and vocabulary levels and get recommendations for family-friendly activities they can do at home. The minimum technology needed is a smartphone.

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Raising Smart Girls

Raising Smart Girls is a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Education resource for parents of girls aged 3 to 12. Our mission is to demystify STEM for you and your girls and, by doing so, inspire a generation of fearless female leaders and innovators.

Are you new to STEM Education and want to learn more? Check out our answers to the Top 7 questions parents have about STEM learning. Looking to fill up your child’s time at home meaningfully? Try one of our carefully curated STEM activities from our Activity Database. Looking for supplemental resources to support remote learning? Find over 150 resources in our learn at home guide. Want to be in the know and receive recommendations for STEM resources weekly? sign up for our newsletter to stay connected!

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Integrative Health

Smith Family Wellness Center

The Smith Family Wellness Center is an integrated care clinic offering low cost medical and counseling services to uninsured families and individuals residing in East Charlotte.

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Teen Health Connection

Teen Health Connection is a medical practice that specializes in providing comprehensive health and mental health services for adolescents and young adults ages 11 to 25. Through an exclusive community collaboration with Atrium Health’s Levine Children’s Hospital, Teen Health Connection’s mission is to improve the health of adolescents by providing physical and mental healthcare, education, advocacy, leadership development, and research through connections among adolescents, parents, and the community. They offer a wide range of services including adolescent gender health, outreach education and drug prevention and parenting support.

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School-Based Mental Health

The school-based mental health (SBMH) program is a collaboration between CMS, Mecklenburg County and eight mental health agencies. Mental health therapists from the agencies are housed in schools to provide outpatient mental health therapy during the instructional day.

Download SBMH Guardian information.

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Mental Health America of Central Carolinas (MHA)

The mission of Mental Health America of Central Carolinas (MHA) is to provide help, offer hope and promote mental wellness through advocacy, education and prevention in Mecklenburg and Cabarrus counties.

Events:


Parent Support

 

COVID-19 and Homelessness

 
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Greater Charlotte Hope Line

The Greater Charlotte Hope Line is a 24/7 hotline for Mecklenburg County residents seeking help for parenting support, domestic violence and sexual assault. This free resource is confidential, safe, and staffed by highly trained advocates who have the knowledge and empathy necessary to help those who call. We provide a single source for crisis intervention services as well as support and prevention programming through education, guidance, emotional support and referrals to appropriate community services.

Learn More

Call 980.771.4673 anytime day or night to speak to an advocate for assistance with parenting issues, domestic violence, or sexual assault.
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CIP, the Crisis Intervention Program)

CIP, the Crisis Intervention Program is a year-round program that assists individuals and families who are experiencing a life threatening or health related heating or cooling related crisis, and have the threat of a utility disconnection. If you’re behind on your utility bill, help may be available.

To apply for CIP please visit epass.NC.gov Or visit AllAccess.MeckNC.gov. You can also complete a curbside application for CIP at Crisis Assistance Ministry, 500-A Spratt St., Charlotte, from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. or call 704-371-3001. Crisis Assistance Ministry helps Mecklenburg County families with life’s basic needs: utility assistance, emergency rent and more. A caseworker will contact you to discuss your immediate needs and work with you to help avoid financial crises in the future.

For other emergency utility and rental assistance and to learn more about how the process works and what documents to bring when applying, Visit CrisisAssistance.org/GetHelp or call 704-371-3001.

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Food and Financial Help Resources List

 
 
 

Finances, Food, Housing, & Clothing

 




Address

Office Location:

Valerie Woodard Center
3205 Freedom Drive
Charlotte, NC 28208
Hours: Mon-Fri  8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Contact

Web Services

close alertCounty services are operating at a limited capacity. Questions about COVID-19? Call Public Health Hotline: 980-314-9400