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For Release: August 12, 2008
Contact: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications
405/271-5601

Oklahoma County Task Force Seeks Help to Prevent Child Abuse
Next Meeting is September 19

Each year in Oklahoma more than 12,000 children do not experience “safe and sound” homes because of child abuse and neglect. In Oklahoma County, families, citizens, volunteers, professionals, and organizations are working together to prevent child abuse and neglect by meeting monthly to find ways to encourage community participation in these efforts.

To facilitate and strengthen this collaborative work, the OkCountyKids Child Abuse Prevention Task Force will be holding its first public meeting to kick off fall events at 10 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 19, at the Rainbow Fleet, 3024 Paseo, Oklahoma City.

The OkCountyKids Child Abuse Prevention Task Force is a network of agencies, service providers, advocates, community organizations, and interested citizens who are committed to the prevention of child abuse. The Task Force provides the following:

a collective voice for the prevention of child abuse and neglect in Oklahoma

a forum for the exchange of information, current research and successful child abuse prevention strategies

an opportunity for networking among individuals committed to child abuse prevention

an opportunity for individuals and/or organizations to advocate for policies and programs that support healthy families and children

events to call attention to the importance of supporting families and children, educating the community, and preventing all forms of child maltreatment

a way for citizens, practitioners, and community-based agencies to provide substantive input into Oklahoma’s goals and strategies

“We need to raise the public’s understanding of the far-reaching effects of child abuse, and empower and encourage people to become involved and support families and parents. Everyone in our community can play a role in the prevention of child abuse,” said OkCountyKids Local Child Abuse Prevention Task Force Co-Coordinator Stacy Dykstra.

“The Task Force works to do this by raising the issue and encouraging citizens to reach out to children and families in our community. We invite the community to join in these prevention efforts and take action to help ensure that all children are safe and sound,” Dykstra said.

For more information about local task force efforts in Oklahoma County, please visit this Web site: http://okcountykids.org/default.aspx. For direct inquiries about child abuse prevention programs and activities throughout the year in Oklahoma County, contact Stacy Dykstra at (405) 236-8441 x299.

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