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Child abuse, neglect a great ill

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POSTED: April 20, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Child abuse and neglect is one of the greatest ills of our society. Bryan County Family Connection along with our community partners would like to announce support for April as "Child Abuse Prevention Month."

In the state fiscal year of 2007 there were 234 cases of child abuse and neglect reported and 68 percent of those were accepted for service in Bryan County. According to the Bryan County Department of Family and Children Services 36 Bryan County children were in custody of the state last year alone; only 10 of those children were either returned to a parent, custody was given to a relative or adopted.

What about the other children? Bryan County needs more foster care and adoptive homes for children!

The abuse and neglect of children is a never-ending problem. That is why it is so important to have trained professionals to investigate reports and work together with community partners to help troubled families.

While the Department of Family and Children Services' (DFCS) main role is responding to allegations of maltreatment, it also works with other community agencies to prevent abuse and neglect. Through local collaboration, Bryan County has a multidisciplinary team who work closely with Helen’s Haven Children’s Advocacy Council so that interviews can be conducted in a child-friendly environment and support can be provided to the child immediately along with the non-offending family members.

For a moment remove yourself and think of a day that may consist of: An emergency room physician calls to report a baby with a suspicious injury. The school counselor calls to say a child has complained of pain from being beaten. A neighbor calls to say the children next door are frequently left home alone.

Who do these people call?

They call their county Department of Family and Children Services - because protecting children is our job, but to our social workers protecting children is more than a job, it’s a full time responsibility and commitment.

Since April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, we want to remind parents (and concerned citizens) how important early nurturing is and call attention to positive ways we can relate to our children. DFCS staff persons have worked with hundreds of abusive or neglectful parents this year. Parents were provided with training classes, drug abuse treatment, employment treatment, and mental health counseling to prevent repeat abuse. Employees are available around the clock, seven days a week to rescue a child.

Bryan County Family Connection has many community partners who are working to reduce the incidence of abuse and neglect in Bryan County. Our partners are those helping to provide and meet needs of families within the community. We appreciate your continued hard work to keep children safe.

Bryan County Family Connection reminds all members of the community to report suspicious activity to Department of Family and Children services. For additional information on reporting requirements, foster care providers or other such services please contact Bryan County Department of Family Children Services at 653-2805.

 

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