With more than 3,700 calls to its child abuse and neglect hotline in 2016, County officials yesterday praised those who made the call, and delivered the message that preventing child abuse and neglect is everyone’s business.
“Not only do we recognize that the prevention of child abuse and neglect is helped by greater public awareness and supportive, involved communities, we believe everyone in our communities can play a role in the prevention of child abuse and neglect,” said Douglas County Commissioner Dave Weaver.
Numerous law enforcement agencies, non-profit organizations and members of the faith-based community also stood in support of child abuse prevention.
Approximately 200 blue pinwheels were planted outside of Douglas County’s Human Services Building on April 17 — representing individuals standing together as a community to help prevent child abuse and neglect.
“This garden symbolizes that together we can create a beautiful, caring community that unites against child abuse,” Weaver said.
Pinwheels for Prevention is a national campaign that attempts to lay the foundation for healthy growth for all children, working to ensure that child abuse and neglect never occur in the first place. According to research done by the campaign, when the following five protective factors are present and robust in a family, the likelihood of child abuse and neglect greatly diminishes.
- Parental resilience: The ability to cope and bounce back from all types of challenges
- Social connections: Friends, family members, neighbors and other members of a community who provide emotional support and concrete assistance to parents
- Knowledge of parenting and child development: Accurate information about raising young children and appropriate expectations for their behavior
- Concrete support in times of need: Financial security to cover day-to-day expenses and unexpected costs that come up from time to time, access to formal supports like TANF and Medicaid and informal support from social networks
- Children’s social and emotional competence: A child’s ability to interact positively with others and communicate his or her emotions effectively
To better understand child abuse prevention, how to identify the signs and what to do if you believe a child is at risk, visit Douglas County’s Child Protective Services page
If you suspect child abuse or neglect, please do not hesitate to call Douglas County’s hotline at 303-663-6270. Calls to the alternative statewide hotline, 1-844-CO-4-KIDS (1-844-264-5437) will be routed to Douglas County child protection professionals. Both numbers will reach someone who can help 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
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