Preventing child abuse and neglect

Published 11:53 am Wednesday, April 4, 2018

April is Child Abuse Prevention month, a time to remember and recognize that children right here in our community need our help. At a time when young lives should be filled with learning, love, joy and laughter they are too often filled with abuse or neglect.

The long-term cost to these young lives and society are overwhelming. According to ChildHelp (the largest organization dedicated to helping victims of child abuse and neglect) a case of child abuse is reported every 10 seconds in America. The statistics are appalling, a child who is abused is much more likely to suffer mental and physical health disorders and addiction issues. The long-term financial impact of child abuse and neglect is staggering. For cases reported in 2008 alone, the lifetime estimated cost of lost worker productivity, health care, special education, child welfare and criminal justice expenditures exceeds 124 billion.

Our police, sheriff and deputies, firefighters and first responders, our teachers, day care providers, social workers and health care providers are all trained and educated on how to recognize and report abuse and neglect of our children. Let’s partner with these agencies, by giving them our support, to make a difference and stop abuse and neglect before it starts. Become educated and know the signs of abuse yourself. Preventing child abuse and neglect means helping all parents have the knowledge, skills, resources, and support they need to provide the safe stable nurturing and healthy environment all children need to thrive.

As you drive throughout our area in April you’ll notice beautiful bright blue pinwheel gardens. The pinwheel gardens symbolize the stable, healthy childhood all children deserve and serve as a reminder to adults that we need to ensure our children’s healthy development and growth. Look for pinwheel gardens springing up in our area and remember to support your local agencies as they work to support you and our most precious jewels — our children.

We salute all those who work hard to support and protect our children.