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Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky Encourages People to ‘Do More of What You Love’ to Help Families this April, Child Abuse Prevention Month

Voice Staff Report
editor@tmcvoice.com

Did you know that in 2018 there were 234 substantiated reports of child abuse or neglect in McCreary County? According to the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services those reports involved 356 children in 187 families. Of those, 179 children were determined to be in need of special services.
The numbers become even more shocking when looked at the state level. Of all states listed in a recent report, Kentucky ranked worst – with the highest number of child abuse cases per 1,000 children than any other state.
“In CY 2018, there were 28,709 children involved in substantiated cases, as well as cases of families in need of services,” said Laura Chowning with Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky. “ The latter (in need of services) means their case was investigated, but didn’t meet the requirements for substantiation, and the DCBS was able to provide resource linkage and services to help the family.”
There is a bright spot in the report: child-abuse related deaths in Kentucky is the lowest it has been in five years – down from 23 in 2013 to just 10 last year. While any death is one too many, only 11 states had fewer than Kentucky last year.
April is Child Abuse Protection Month across the United States and Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky is encouraging people across the state to participate by sharing their talents and time to help create better, brighter futures for children and families.
Even the smallest step can make a big difference in a child’s life—and a parent’s as well.
“Everyone wants to provide and nurture their child in a positive, healthy environment, but sometimes parents need a little extra support,” said Jill Seyfred at Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky. “That’s why we’re asking people to proactively engage parents in their local community and offer their support—whether it’s by making a meal for a family, reading to or tutoring a child, or even hosting a kid-friendly neighborhood block party to help build social connections.”
In a national survey, 94% of parents said they needed help of some kind; 86% said they would be grateful for services, childcare or other support. However, in a separate study, fewer than 20% of parents said they would actually seek help.

“While our goal is to help create great childhoods for all children, it’s important that parents get the support they need in order to do so,” explained Prevent Child Abuse America President and CEO Dan Duffy. “Despite the best intentions, parenting can be challenging. We want to help people understand that it’s possible to do the things they love—cooking, making art or music, reading, or playing sports—and, at the same time, help families and their community thrive.” Suggestions from Prevent Child Abuse America to make a difference in a child’s life and help support parents while doing what you love include:
•Volunteer for an after-school reading program or book club—you’ll help kids meet new friends and spark their imaginations, too.
•Give a new mom a break by bringing over dinner, offering to run an errand, or babysitting.
•Coach a youth sports team to teach kids the value of teamwork—they’ll learn how to trust teammates and themselves.
•Host a kid-friendly BBQ or organize a block party so parents can socialize without the stress of finding a sitter—social connections with other parents help to establish a strong support network.
•Contact your elected officials and urge them to support policies and programs that promote safe healthy childhoods.
“We all share a responsibility for the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of children and their families,” added Jill Seyfred. “I encourage everyone in the state to do what they love this April and help ensure great childhoods in their community.”
“We know child abuse can be prevented, and we know how to do it; but we cannot do it alone. We are making progress as awareness has increased, and we hear from those who have been most impacted by the solutions. Every time you see a blue and silver pinwheel this month, think about a child who will benefit from your awareness of child abuse and neglect. Take time out. Report. Get involved in prevention. It works.”
Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky is the leading statewide child abuse prevention organization. They are the Kentucky chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America and offer statewide programs and services. Contact them at www.pcaky.org or 1-800-CHILDREN.

Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky is rated as one of the top charities for children by Consumer Reports and charity oversight organizations, including: Charity Navigator, Great Nonprofits and Guide Star. Visit preventchildabuse.org to learn more.

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