"Chemung County Recognizes April as Child Abuse Prevention Month"
April marks an important time to call attention to the issues of child abuse intervention and prevention
CHEMUNG COUNTY, NY – Throughout the month of April, THE CHEMUNG COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES (DSS) AND MULTIDISCIPLINARY TEAM (MDT) / CHILD ADVOCACY CENTER (CAC) are joining National Children’s Alliance and its thousands of members and supporters across the country to bring much needed attention to the issues of child abuse intervention and prevention. Chemung County Executive Christopher Moss has proclaimed April as Child Abuse Prevention Month in Chemung County and is calling on our community to understand the role the community can play in child abuse prevention, awareness and in in building protective factors to support families and children.
Nearly 700,000 children are abused in the U.S annually. An estimated 683,000 children were victims of abuse and neglect in 2015, the most recent year for which there is national data.
In 2018, there were 1534 allegations of child abuse and maltreatment reported to Chemung County Children and Family Services. Upon investigation, 34% presented with enough evidence to substantiate the report.
The Child Advocacy Center served 401 children in 2018.
Kellie Lowman, Director of Children and Family Services stated, When all members of the community work together as a whole, families feel supported and are better able to nurture and care for their children. Research shows that when parents possess six protective factors, the risk for neglect and abuse diminish and optimal outcomes for children, youth, and families are promoted. The six protective factors are:
• Nurturing and attachment
• Knowledge of parenting and of child and youth development
• Parental resilience
• Social connections
• Concrete supports for parents
• Social and emotional developmental well-being
The staff at Children and Family Services at DSS are dedicated and committed to helping families overcome child abuse and neglect. April is a time to remind the community of the important role they can play in protecting children. “Everyone’s participation is critical. Focusing on ways to build and promote the protective factors, in every interaction with children and families, is the best thing our community can do to prevent child maltreatment and promote optimal child development,” added Lowman.
Dina O’Herron, Coordinator of the Chemung County Child Advocacy Center, stated, “As a member of National Children’s Alliance, THE CHEMUNG COUNTY MULTIDISCIPLINARY TEAM AND CHILD ADVOCACY CENTER fully supports the multidisciplinary approach to responding to allegations of child abuse. We believe that our local community should become more educated about the benefits of this process, how to recognize signs of abuse and neglect and how to respond to them. During the month of April, the issue of child abuse will be at the forefront of national discussions and we can only hope that our communities become as knowledgeable as possible to the importance of this concerning issue that affects all of us.”