April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

Dear Editor:

April is Child Abuse Prevention month in Minnesota.

According to the Minnesota Department of Human Services, 17,380 reports of maltreatment were assessed for abuse or neglect in 2010.

Isanti County has established a child protection multidisciplinary team, comprised of community professionals, known as Family Support Team. The Family Support Team meets monthly to discuss child abuse concerns in Isanti County and to focus on ways not only to protect children but also to prevent abuse from ever occurring.

We all know that law enforcement cannot prevent all crime.  We cannot expect the state’s Child Protective Services to stop all child abuse and neglect.  In fact, in the majority of the most tragic cases of child abuse—those in which a child died—Child Protective Services had no opportunity to impact the safety of the child at risk. Maybe it was a situation that people outside the family couldn’t see. Possibly the child’s parent didn’t realize that their own action, or lack thereof, put their child’s life at risk. Neglect is the most frequent form of child abuse. We all have to recognize neglect and not walk away from it.

Therefore, the Isanti County Family Support Team proclaims April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Whereas, child abuse is an issue that affects all members of our community and finding solutions depends on involvement among people throughout the community;

Whereas, child abuse prevention works when partnerships created between parents, practitioners, schools, faith communities, health care organizations, law enforcement agencies and the business community;

Whereas, family-serving, youth focused prevention programs offer positive alternatives for young people and encourage parents and youth to develop strong ties to their communities;

Whereas, all citizens need to be more aware of child abuse and neglect and its prevention within the community, and be involved in supporting parents to raise their children in a safe, nurturing society.

Now, Therefore, Isanti County Family Support Team hereby proclaim April as Child Abuse Prevention Month in Isanti County and call upon all citizens, community groups, religious organizations, medical facilities, and businesses to increase their participation in efforts to prevent child abuse and neglect, thereby strengthening the community in which we live.

Isanti County Family Support Team