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Our History

Our History

The work of The Parent Child Center (PCC) has been ongoing since 1972, serving over 56,000 parents and children last year. The current agency was officially incorporated on May 1, 1990, with the merger of two smaller United Way agencies: At Risk Parent Child Program and Child Abuse Prevention Services.

When Colorado pediatrician C. Henry Kempe, M.D., first coined the phrase “battered child syndrome” in the mid-1960’s, medical professionals across the country and around the world took notice.

In 1972, nurses and physicians at Tulsa’s St. Francis Hospital responded to this alarming trend by founding a Tulsa chapter of Parents Anonymous, a self help group for parents. In May 1981, this organization was granted 501(c)(3) status and operated under the auspices of the Alliance to the Tulsa County Medical Society for several years. In 1984, the organization received United Way funding and was renamed Child Abuse Prevention Services (CAPS) in 1987.

In 1974, the At Risk Parent Child Program began at Hillcrest Medical Center when medical personnel noticed the same types of tragic situations. Pediatrician Donald Pfeiffer, M.D., and Cathy Ayoub, R.N., established one of the nation’s first “SCAN teams” to screen families of newborns for risk of abuse and neglect. They designed a home visiting program called “At Risk Parent Child Program” to offer parenting education.

To better serve clients by offering related services within a single comprehensive agency, the Boards of Directors of At Risk and CAPS worked for two years, at the urging of United Way, toward a merger which became final in 1990.

In 1997, The Parent Child Center completed a $3.2 million dollar capital/endowment drive and moved into its own home at 1421 South Boston.

In 2006, Desiree Doherty was named Executive Director, succeeding Claudette Selph who was the founding Director from 1990 to 2006.

In February 2008, the agency received national accreditation through the Council on Accreditation, and was re-accredited in February 2012.

Today, The Parent Child Center is considered a leader among Tulsa area nonprofits in the areas of best practice, quality improvement and outcome evaluation.