April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month

How do we make a difference?

by Vickie S. Watson, Community Relations Specialist

Some observances are ones you wish you did not have to mark. With nearly 700,000 children victimized every year by physical, mental, or sexual abuse, National Child Abuse Prevention Month in April is one of those observances.

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children’s Bureau (2017) – Child Maltreatment 2015 report, there were an estimated 4 million referrals made to Child Protective Services, alleging maltreatment involving approximately 7.2 million children in the U.S.  Key findings in the report include:

  • The national estimate of children who received a child protective services investigation response or alternative response increased 9.0 percent from 2011 (3,081,000) to 2015 (3,358,000).
  • The number and rate of victims have fluctuated during the past 5 years. Comparing the national estimate of victims from 2011 (658,000) to the rounded number of reported victims in 2015 (683,000) shows an increase of 3.8 percent.
  • Three-quarters (75.3%) of victims were neglected, 17.2 percent were physically abused, and 8.4 percent were sexually abused.
  • For 2015, a nationally estimated 1,670 children died of abuse and neglect at a rate of 2.25 per 100,000 children in the national population.

Child abuse and neglect is one of the Nation’s most serious concerns.  But what about the state of Alabama?  In the report, noted above, there were a total of 22,067 referrals made to CPS in 2015.  So what can you do to make a difference? Join us on April 7, at 10:00 a.m. to hear Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall speak on the topic of child abuse prevention. With the proper knowledge, tools, and awareness, community members can work together to prevent child abuse and neglect. And maybe someday, we won’t have to observe National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

 

HMC Receives Grief Reach Grant

by Susan Sanders, Community Relations Director

We hear so many bad things in the news these days it causes us to think, “What is the world is this world coming to…”  Just when I’m tempted to concentrate on this depressing thought, I am reminded of the generosity of good folks and large corporations that see a need and put the dollars behind helping to meet that need.  The New York Life Foundation’s grant to Hospice of Marshall is an awesome testimony to a nationwide company reaching out to local communities to ensure that a vulnerable population receives the care they so need and deserve.  Our society as a whole will benefit from a future generation who have been given the tools to work through grief issues.  I am forever grateful!