Care Center's ROAR Program Helps Kids Report Abuse


Wednesday, January 12th 2022, 6:23 pm


OKLAHOMA CITY -

The Care Center is aiming to help kids find their voice, and report domestic abuse, through their ROAR program. 

“Kids that have gone through the most horrific acts of abuse and neglect need a place to call their own,” said Stacy McNeiland, CEO of the Care Center.  

Reporting abuse of any kind can be a real challenge for young kids.  

“Child abuse happens 90% of the time with someone the child knows, loves, and trust so it’s going to be someone within your circle,” said McNeiland.  

McNeiland knows the cycle of abuse firsthand. 

“I am a child abuse survivor and my abuse started around the age of five,” said McNeiland.  

She created the ROAR program, an acronym easy for kids to remember,  

“Remember privates are private, “O”, it’s okay to say no, “A”, always talk about secrets, and “R”, remember to reach out and tell someone,” said McNeiland.  

The program is taught in schools and community organizations to kids between the ages of 4 and 8 has reached 40,000 Oklahoma kids.  

Shelby Lynch is the education director with the Care Center and works directly with the kids.  

“It’s such an incredible moment to watch that. It truly is like tiny light bulbs going off in their brains,” said Lynch.  

Both of Kristin Hersom’s children went through the ROAR program, and she could see a difference immediately.  

“When she came home, she was so excited to tell me that she found her roar,” said Hersom  

The program is also available online.  

“Really just with the mission to end child abuse to try to prevent abuse as much as they can,” said McNeiland. 

The Care Center is located at 1405 Ashton Place. Appointments can be made by phone (405) 236-2100 or through their website www.carecenter-okc.org