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For Release: March 25, 2008
Child Abuse Prevention Month Seeks Community Involvement
Small, positive actions can make a difference in the life of a child. The focus this year for April, Child Abuse Prevention Month, is to highlight those actions that each of us can take to help raise safe, healthy, resilient children. The theme “It Only Takes a Minute to Make a Difference in the Life of a Child,” brings hope that all children can get a good start in life if the adults around them take small actions that add up to a pattern of supportive community and family environments in which children can grow and develop into productive citizens.
According to statistics from the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, in 2006 in Oklahoma, there were more than 13,800 confirmations of child abuse and/or neglect. In 2005, the latest data available indicates 40 Oklahoma children died as a result of child abuse and neglect.
“Even one victim of child abuse and neglect is still one victim too many,” said Secretary for Health and State Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Crutcher. “Survivors need counseling, social and health services for the rest of their lives in order to recover and to try to break the vicious cycle of abuse and neglect. This affects the health of families and entire communities for generations.”
“There are lots of small, positive things we can all do to help protect and nurture our children that only take a minute,” said Sherie Trice, community-based child abuse prevention grant coordinator with the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH). “A few words of praise and encouragement to a child, listening carefully to what a child has to say, showing a child you care, saying ‘I love you’ – all are simple actions that added together have been shown to have a profound impact on a child’s life. In these very real ways, we can all support children and strengthen families,” Trice said.
The OSDH Family Support and Prevention (FSP) Service offers the following parenting tips to help build healthy families:
For general information about child abuse prevention activities, materials and ways to get involved, call the county health department in your area or contact Sheri Trice, OSDH FSP Service at (405) 271-7611.
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