CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – From July 2011 to June 2012, Wake County officials documented more than 2,000 incidents of child abuse or neglect. As a step to help end this problem, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) will provide the SAFEchild Advocacy Center with an investment to help provide comprehensive medical evaluations to children who have been physically or sexually abused. SAFEchild is a nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating child abuse in Wake County.

“By supporting the SAFEchild Advocacy Center, we’re investing in North Carolina’s most important resource, our children,” said Kathy Higgins, BCBSNC vice president of corporate affairs. “The fantastic team at the Advocacy Center goes above and beyond to create a healing environment, and each staff member plays an important role in the health of our kids and our community.”

BCBSNC’s contribution will be used to fund salaries for medical staff members at the SAFEchild Advocacy Center, including:

  • Family nurse practitioner – This position supports the medical evaluation of 300 mistreated Wake County children, including individual, comprehensive medical assessments and treatment recommendations for each child.
  • Medical director – A medical director works side by side with the nurse family practitioner and two volunteer pediatric specialists to provide clinical supervision and oversight during the treatment of Triangle youth.

These positions provide medical findings to Wake County Child Protective Services social workers and law enforcement officers who are assigned to investigate child abuse cases. These findings play an instrumental role in reducing the risk of future incidents of abuse.

“Our funding partners are critical to the success of meeting the needs of sexually and physically abused children,” said Marjorie Menestres, SAFEchild executive director. “We are honored that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina has invested in us.”

For more information about the SAFEchild Advocacy Center and its mission to protect Wake County’s children, visit For more information about how BCBSNC is supporting communities across the state, click here.


About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina:
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is a leader in delivering innovative health care products, services and information to more than 3.74 million members, including approximately 1 million served on behalf of other Blue Plans. For generations, the company has served its customers by offering health insurance at a competitive price and has served the people of North Carolina through support of community organizations, programs and events that promote good health. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina was recognized as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute in 2012 and 2013. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Visit BCBSNC online at All other marks are the property of their respective owners.

About SAFEchild:
SAFEchild, an acronym for Stop Abuse For Every child, is Wake County’s only non-profit child abuse prevention agency providing direct services to children and families. SAFEchild builds strong families and stops abuse by implementing four primary strategies: group parenting programs serving parents and children (group based services), new mother mentoring (home based), the SAFEchild Advocacy Center (Center based), and Funny Tummy Feelings (school based), which is presented primarily in first and second grade classrooms. Most programs are provided at no cost to the family in need of support.

Founded in 1992, SAFEchild has worked with thousands of parents and has reached more than 100,000 children. By leveraging hundreds of dedicated volunteers and a core of highly skilled staff, SAFEchild touches traditional and non-traditional families with children of all ages and parents and caregivers of all backgrounds.