Founding Executive Director Receives Order of Palmetto

Libby_Ralston_and_Board_of_DirectorsGovernor Nikki Haley recognized Dr. M. Elizabeth (Libby) Ralston on her lifetime achievements and contributions to child abuse victims in the state of South Carolina with the Order of Palmetto award.  Dr. Ralston received the award at a party in her honor on June 16, 2011 at Magnolia’s. 

Child abuse is an issue that no one wants to talk about, but for over thirty years Dr. Ralston has been doing more than that; she has been taking action. She has devoted her life to focusing attention on these children, our youngest victims. Dr. Ralston has worked not only to ensure that children are safer, but also to provide the mental health services needed to help them overcome this trauma. In the process, she has changed the way this issue is being addressed in Charleston, in South Carolina and across the nation.  She is the Founding Director of South Carolina’s first Children’s Advocacy Center, The Dee Norton Lowcountry Children’s Center.

Her dedication to children and families coupled with her vision and leadership has significantly impacted the prevention and treatment of child abuse. DNLCC is pleased that Governor Nikki Haley has recognized Dr. Ralston for her efforts and dedication to improving the lives of child abuse victims. 


Since its opening, DNLCC has acquired a national reputation for ground-breaking excellence.

• On Friday, September 16, 2011 Libby Ralston accepted the 2011 Kappy Hubbard Voice for Children Award at the Children’s Trust of South Carolina Prevention Conference in Columbia, SC.  Libby was the recipient of this award in recognition of her outstanding leadership in the prevention of child abuse, neglect and unintentional injuries, making the overall well-being of children her life’s work.
• DNLCC Board of Advocates member, Lisa Rice, was recognized for her outstanding volunteer work for DNLCC by the National Children’s Alliance (NCA) for their Individual Volunteer Leadership Award.  Mrs. Rice accepted the award in Washington, DC on June 7, 2011 at NCA’s Leadership Conference Awards Luncheon. 
• In March 2011, DNLCC received $30,000 from The National Children’s Alliance to support the expansion of services to child abuse victims and their families in rural Berkeley County.
• DNLCC received $2.3 million from the Duke Endowment to fund Phase II of Project BEST (Bringing Evidence-Supported Treatments) to South Carolina’s children. This long term, multi year project of DNLCC and the Medical University of South Carolina’s National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center (NCVC) is to increase the capacity of every community in South Carolina to deliver evidence supported mental health treatments to abused and traumatized children who need them.
• In June 2010, DNLCC won the National Children’s Alliance’s Public Awareness Campaign Contest for its 2010 “I believe…” campaign.  DNLCC was awarded a $20,000 grant to fund its 2011 Public Awareness Campaign.  The award was presented to DNLCC at the National Children’s Alliance Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. View DNLCC's winning video now!
• In March 2010, DNLCC won the Erin Hardwick Award for Non-Profit Management from the South Carolina Association of Non-Profit Organizations (SCANPO). The award was presented to DNLCC during SCANPO’s 2010 Annual Non-Profit Conference in Hilton Head Island, SC. 
• In November 2009, DNLCC won the American Marketing Association Spark Award in the category "Torch" for excellence in non-profit marketing for the "I believe...child abuse is a grown-up problem" campaign.
• With generous support from the Duke Endowment, DNLCC has partnered with the MUSC National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center to facilitate Project BEST.  Project BEST (Bringing Evidence-Supported Treatments) is a 10-year state-wide community-based effort to disseminate, train and implement methods to increase the capacity of every community in South Carolina to deliver evidence supported mental health treatments to abused and traumatized children who need them.  DNLCC is currently completing a 3-year Phase 1 of the project.
• Through funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), DNLCC has joined with the Oklahoma University Center on Child Abuse and Neglect (CCAN) to bring training in evidence-based treatment for children and adolescents with sexual behavior problems.  The Sexual Behavior Problem (SBP) Program has been established in the community using a community-based learning collaborative approach for dissemination of this treatment within the tri-county area.  DNLCC, through this grant, is also designated as a National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) Category III Community Treatment and Service Center and is one of only two Children’s Advocacy Centers in the country to receive this designation during this funding cycle.  In this capacity DNLCC will implement and evaluate effective treatment and services in our community setting and in youth-serving service systems.
• The Center's Executive Director, Dr. Ralston has provided expert testimony in family, criminal, civil, federal and military courts across the United States. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the National Children’s Alliance and was awarded the organization’s highest honor, the Bud Cramer Award in 2006. In 2007, Dr. Ralston was South Carolina's recipient of the prestigious Commissioner's award from the Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
• Articles regarding the program and practices developed and used at the DNLCC have been published in professional journals such as Child Abuse and Neglect and Child Maltreatment.
• DNLCC’s prevention guide, Children Can’t Protect Themselves, It’s Your Job, has been distributed nationally via Children’s Advocacy Centers and is available in Spanish.   
• The Duke Endowment is working with DNLCC to develop outcome measurements to determine the effectiveness of Children’s Advocacy Centers throughout the state of South Carolina.
• DNLCC’s school-based prevention program was selected by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network as a model to be replicated throughout the nation. Currently, DNLCC is working to share the model with Children’s Advocacy Centers in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee.
• DNLCC’s intervention model for child abuse victims has been selected as a best practice treatment in guidelines developed by the National Office of Victims of Crime.
• DNLCC was one of only four sites in the nation to participate in a national evaluation of Children’s Advocacy Centers funded by the Federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
• DNLCC is a charter member of the National Children’s Alliance, the accrediting body for Children’s Advocacy Centers.
• DNLCC was the first Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) in South Carolina and has aided the development of other centers across the state and nation.