The Washington Times-Herald

Community

April 5, 2014

April is Child Abuse Prevention month, events around state to raise awarness

At 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, communities across the state will gather together simultaneously for pinwheels for prevention ceremonies marking the need to prevent child abuse in Indiana. April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and in Martin County a special ceremony will take place at the Martin County 4-H Community Building.

Statewide, DCS is working with local Prevent Child Abuse Indiana councils, court-appointed special advocates as well as other child advocacy groups and local officials, to unite families, neighbors, professionals and policy-makers in the concerted effort to identify and address the issues that lead to abuse or neglect.

“This is about unity and solidarity in making children a priority,” said Susan Ford.

By the time children come into the DCS systems, they’re already victims of abuse or neglect. Parenting is hard enough, but when families are also struggling with basic survival needs like food, shelter and keeping the lights on, it can create stress and hopelessness that escalates into child abuse, said Susan Ford. “We need all eyes and ears in the community reporting child abuse and neglect, but equally important, we need everyone — from families and extended families to neighbors and friends — working together to prevent child abuse.”

RainTree Consulting has partnered with DCS to work with children and families in the community. They will be informing families about car seat safety and providing a car seat to one family during the event. The Community Partners Program will also be in attendance and have been a great asset to communities, providing services outside of DCS involvement, as a preventative service.

DCS, child advocacy groups and local government officials understand the realities that can lead to family crises. “Child abuse prevention is a cause that should mobilize our communities to blend our resources, talents and efforts in order to protect vulnerable children,” said Ford. “There is tremendous work being done to protect our children in the state of Indiana, but there is always opportunity for each of us to do more.”

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