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Every Child Deserves a Happy and Healthy Childhood



Every Child Deserves a Happy and Healthy Childhood

 

CHICAGO, IL, January 31, 2014 – Prevent Child Abuse America agrees with the position in the newly-released report from the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) on sexual abuse by school personnel that “we must all expand our efforts to ensure that children have safe and secure learning communities,” especially with the idea that we cannot rely exclusively on the government to do so.

 We all have a role to make schools a safe and healthy experience for all children regardless of where they live. For example, parents and guardians should talk to children regularly about what they’re doing, where they spend their time, and who they are spending it with, which can help identify possible problems.

 Similarly, experts can be brought in to work with schools to develop support systems that promote a sexually safe and healthy climate for both students and faculty so that educators and administrators will be better able to support the prevention work that parents are doing at home, and parents should feel empowered to ask questions of the administrators.

 This report indicates very clearly is that there is much more that can be done to promote the happy and healthy childhoods that all our children deserve. According to the Shakeshaft report from 2004, at least 5% of students report a sexual contact of some type from school personnel before they graduate. We know that relying on background screening to predict which school personnel may pose a risk is necessary but it is in no way sufficient.

 The GAO report points to inconsistent reporting requirements and definitions as a problem nationally. As the old adage says “measure is the mark of man,” but if we do not have common definitions, strategies, and efforts to measure our prevention work, the impact is not as great as it could be. There is a clear need, now greater than ever, for the creation of a true national plan for America’s children.

 Every child deserves a happy and healthy childhood, but the fact that there are different definitions, standards and reporting requirements in different states makes the monumental task of finding where we need to concentrate our prevention efforts all the more difficult. This task is not left to the government and school systems alone, but it’s up to all of us. Every child, victimized or otherwise, deserves to be served and counted, and every adult, parent or otherwise, plays a role in the prevention of child abuse.

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 ABOUT PREVENT CHILD ABUSE AMERICA

Prevent Child Abuse America, founded in 1972 and based in Chicago, works to ensure the healthy development of children nationwide. The organization promotes that vision through a network of chapters in 49 states and over 400 Healthy Families America, home visitation sites in 37 states, the Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and Canada. A major organizational focus is to advocate for the existence of a national policy framework and strategy for children and families while promoting evidence-based practices that prevent abuse and neglect from ever occurring. To learn more about what we’re doing to prevent child abuse and neglect and how you can help, please visit our websites preventchildabuse.org and healthyfamiliesamerica.org.

Prevent Child Abuse America, founded in 1972 and based in Chicago, works to ensure the healthy development of children nationwide. The organization promotes that vision through a network of chapters in 49 states and over 400 Healthy Families America, home visitation sites in 37 states, the Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and Canada. A major organizational focus is to advocate for the existence of a national policy framework and strategy for children and families while promoting evidence-based practices that prevent abuse and neglect from ever occurring. To learn more about what we’re doing to prevent child abuse and neglect and how you can help, please visit our websites preventchildabuse.org and healthyfamiliesamerica.org.

Prevent Child Abuse America, founded in 1972 and based in Chicago, works to ensure the healthy development of children nationwide. The organization promotes that vision through a network of chapters in 49 states and over 400 Healthy Families America, home visitation sites in 37 states, the Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and Canada. A major organizational focus is to advocate for the existence of a national policy framework and strategy for children and families while promoting evidence-based practices that prevent abuse and neglect from ever occurring. To learn more about what we’re doing to prevent child abuse and neglect and how you can help, please visit our websites preventchildabuse.org and healthyfamiliesamerica.org.

Prevent Child Abuse America, founded in 1972 in Chicago, works to ensure the healthy development of children nationwide. The organization promotes that vision through a network of chapters in 50 states and nearly 600 sites in 39 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Commonwealth of the Marianas, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, and Canada. A major organizational focus is to advocate for the existence of a national policy framework and strategy for children and families while promoting evidence-based practices that prevent abuse and neglect from ever occurring. To learn more about what we’re doing to prevent child abuse and neglect and how you can help, please visit our websites, preventchildabuse.org and healthyfamiliesamerica.org.