PEERS is a program designed to offer Parents, Education, Empathy, Rapport and Support. All services at PEERS are for the prevention of child abuse and neglect. It is the goal of PEERS to help parents be the best they can be in their parenting role. The PEERS program began in 1977, and was the only program of its kind in the state. Through the years, it has gained acceptance as a model program to help families under stress deal with the problems of parenting. In 1983, the program was recognized by the North Carolina Preventative Services Training Institute as one of the most cost effective and comprehensive family service programs in the state. The Governor's Award for Outstanding Volunteer Services was presented to the PEERS volunteers in 1987. In recent years, individual PEERS volunteers have received the Governor's Award and the JC Penney Golden Rule Awards for their service to the program.
Major funding comes from the United Way of Onslow County, the City of Jacksonville, Onslow County, the Department of Health and Human Services, and donations from individuals, churches, businesses, civic groups and through fundraisers.
PEERS is a supporter of TASCO, "Turning Adversity into Success for Children of Onslow".