POMEROY — “Building Community, Building Hope” is the theme for 2016 National Child Abuse Prevention Month.
April was first declared Child Abuse Prevention Month by presidential proclamation in 1983 as a time to acknowledge the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse. During the month and throughout the year, communities are encouraged to share strategies and activities to prevent child abuse and neglect.
In statistics published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau, it was reported that in 2014 in the 50 states and including the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, an estimated 646,261 children were victims of child abuse or neglect and 1,580 children died as a result.
When community programs and systems are engaged and supportive, the report stated the majority of child abuse cases can be prevented and that strong, nurturing communities that are supportive of families can keep harmful situations and conditions to children from occurring.
The finding that, “A community that cares about early childhood development, parental support and maternal mental health, for instance, is more likely to foster nurturing families and healthy children, and are encouraged to get involved and play a role in preventing child abuse and neglect and promoting child and family well-being.”
As a community, Meigs County has many resources available to educate and assist residents. The Meigs Health Department has programs to encourage breastfeeding, to provide safe sleep for infants and VegieU, which encourages healthy eating. Meigs County Jobs and Family Services provides lists of approved child care as well as training for child care providers. They also offer activities and financial assistance, along with many other resources for families in need of their services.
For more information on resources provided by the MCHD, visit www.meigs-health.com or call 740-992-6626; or by MCJFS Children’s Services by visiting www.meigsdjfs.net/Meigscs.htm or calling 740-992-2117 or 1-800-992-2608.
Contact Lorna Hart at 740-992-2155 Ext.2551.