Child Abuse Prevention Month recognized locally

Published 12:45 pm Thursday, April 6, 2023

Harlan County and the state and nation have recognized April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Harlan County Judge-Executive Dan Mosley signed a proclamation Friday, designating April as Child Abuse Prevention Month in Harlan County.

According to the proclamation, National Child Abuse Prevention Month will be recognized in April. Child abuse and neglect are community problems and require community involvement. Child abuse and neglect occur more frequently when families are undergoing financial issues because families feel more vulnerable.

The proclamation states child abuse and neglect can be reduced by ensuring families have the means to raise children in a healthy environment. Considered one of the nation’s most serious public health problems, child abuse and neglect of children is linked to a wide range of medical, emotional, psychological, and behavioral disorders.

“All citizens should become involved in strengthening families to raise their children in a safe and nurturing environment,” states the proclamation.

The Children’s Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ website states the department releases a yearly Child Maltreatment Report. The 2021 report says approximately 1.8 million children received prevention services in the 2021 fiscal year.

“Approximately two-thirds (58.0%) of victims received post-response services (such as family preservation, family support, or foster care) because of needs discovered during an investigation or alternative response,” reads the Child Maltreatment Report. “During fiscal year 2021, fewer than one-quarter (20.2 percent) of confirmed maltreatment victims were removed from their homes because of an investigation or alternative response.”

The proclamation signed by Mosley states all citizens should be involved in strengthening families to raise families in nurturing, healthy environments.

“Effective child abuse prevention programs succeed because of partnerships created among state and local government agencies, schools, faith communities, civic organizations, law enforcement agencies and the business community,” reads the proclamation.