Protecting children is everyone’s job
One of every two children placed in foster care in 2015 was there because of abuse and neglect associated with their parents’ drug use, according to the Public Children Services Association of Ohio.
Parents are so intent on feeding their addiction that they forget about their children.
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.
The Jefferson County Job and Family Services, Children Services Division, reported there were more than 280 cases investigated for alleged child abuse or neglect in 2017. The agency reported 82 cases were handled with a traditional response, and 119 were handled through an alternative response, meaning the child was not seriously harmed or neglected. Of the traditional responses, 57 percent were substantiated as more serious child abuse or neglect.
Adults who grew up with good parents can’t imagine what life is like for a child whose mother or father is addicted to drugs, especially heroin. They also can’t imagine what it is like for a child to be physically or sexually abused.
Children services will step in, and, if warranted, remove the child from the home. But professionals will say children who don’t spend enough time with their parents may end up going down the wrong path as they get older. They may grow up and show the same lack of parenting skills. The trend will then continue.
Many people today don’t want to get involved if they see something happening. But how will they feel when a child is seriously injured or worse at the hands of an abuser, and they could have stopped it?
Children should be running and laughing, not crying and cowering.
Protecting children is everyone’s job.
The caseworkers at children services have a difficult job. It can be mentally exhausting to deal with children who are hurt because of abuse and neglect.
Make their jobs easier by helping to report child abuse and neglect to authorities.
It can be done anonymously. An investigation will begin, and maybe the life of a child will be saved. Don’t look away. Pick up the phone and report it.
It shouldn’t hurt to be a child.