Building Community, Building Hope – April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

by Placerville Newswire / Apr 19, 2016 / comments

[by Dina Gentry] April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month – a time to acknowledge the importance of healthy families. Child abuse is not only a crime; it’s a costly one.  The Child Abuse Prevention Council is one of several El Dorado County agencies and organizations working to reduce risk factors and promote protective factors. Gail Healy, Council member and Assistant Executive Director Child Development Programs at the El Dorado County Office of Education, stated, ”We can’t put a dollar value on the life of a child. But we can play a part in ending the tragedy of child abuse by supporting the social and emotional well-being of children and families. We can all make a difference in the life of a child.” 

Effective early prevention efforts are less costly than trying to fix the adverse effects of child maltreatment.  

Child abuse is not only a crime; it’s costly. A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that child abuse and neglect costs the United States $124 billion each year. The study looked at confirmed child maltreatment cases, both fatal and non-fatal, during a 12-month period. The estimated average lifetime cost per victim of nonfatal child maltreatment is $210,012, including childhood health care costs, adult medical costs, productivity losses, child welfare costs, criminal justice costs and special education costs.

To raise awareness, the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors set forth the following Proclamation:  

WHEREAS, In 2015, 501,010 victims of child abuse or neglect were reported in California and 2,296 in El Dorado County; and

WHEREAS, All adults and caregivers have a responsibility, as neighbors, community members and citizens of EL DORADO County to help create healthy, safe and nurturing environment for children and youth; and

WHEREAS, Safe and healthy childhoods help produce confident, successful and independent adults; and

WHEREAS, Child abuse and neglect often occurs when families and caregivers find themselves in isolated or stressful situations, without community resources, and don’t know how to cope; and

WHEREAS, The majority of child abuse cases stem from situations and conditions that are preventable when our communities are supportive, active and engaged; and

WHEREAS, Child abuse and neglect can be reduced by making sure every family has the support it needs and deserves to raise their children in a healthy environment; and 

WHEREAS, Protective factors are conditions that reduce or eliminate risk and promote the social, emotional, and developmental well-being of children; and

WHEREAS, Effective prevention programs succeed because of meaningful connections and partnerships created between agencies, schools, faith-based organizations, law enforcement agencies, and the business community; and EL DORADO County’s collaborative is among the most effective in the county, and;

WHEREAS, For over 20 years, the El Dorado Child Abuse Prevention Council, has served El DORADO County; and

WHEREAS, Wearing the color blue, wearing a blue ribbon or displaying a pinwheel in April will serve as a positive reminder that together, we can prevent child abuse and keep children safe.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT PROCLAIMED THAT the EL DORADO COUNTY Board of Supervisors does hereby proclaim April 2016 as Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month and urges all citizens to join The Child Abuse Prevention Council and its engaged partners, as they support each family’s efforts to keep themselves and their children safe, healthy and in a nurturing environment.

Brian K. Veerkamp, El Dorado County Supervisor representing District 3, expressed, “Being a member of the El Dorado Board of Supervisors is about services to our citizens. It gives me great pleasure to support and be a resource to our staff, councils, programs, and community on such an important topic. Together we can make a difference for our children!”

To find out more, please visit El Dorado County Child Abuse Prevention Council on Facebook or http://eldoradocapc.org/