Getting Involved

 

The idea that child abuse or neglect is committed by essentially violent or “bad” people is false.  In fact, many are relatively "good" people who are unable to handle the stress they face.  Many abusers have been victims of abuse themselves, and don’t know any other way to parent.  With your help, we can reduce the likelihood that children with parents, who are struggling with any challenges, will be abused or neglected.  Here are some ways that you can help:

  • Remember the Risk Factors by recognizing parents that may be struggling with challenges.  The factors commonly associated with Child abuse and neglect cases occur in all segments of our society.  Some of the more common include, but not limited to:
    • Financial or personal problems.
    • Isolation from family and community.
    • Difficulty controlling anger or stress.
    • Physical or mental health issues.
    • Substance abuse.
    • Lack of interest in the care, nourishment or safety of their children.
  • Reach Out by being a friend (help reduce the stress that leads to abuse and neglect).   Be a parent’s friend. Inquire about their children. Offer reassurance and support.  If a parent seems to be struggling, offer to baby-sit or run errands, or just lend a friendly ear.  Show you care and relate to their issues.  Reach out to the children too and show them you care.
  • Raise the Issue   Wear a blue ribbon or contact your elected officials and representative for their support in bringing changes to the policies and legislation.
  • Donate used clothing, furniture and toys.  This can help relieve financial stress.
  • Network with your neighbors about keeping an eye open for each other’s children.  Encourage a supportive spirit. Show you are involved.
  • Look for additional programs and opportunities at schools, the library or a faith group for parents.  Encourage them to sponsor classes and develop resources for parents.
  • Recognize the Warning Signs of an abused child including nervousness around adults, aggression towards adults or other children, and an inability to stay awake or concentrate for a period of time.  You may also notice a sudden or dramatic change in personality, frequent or unexplained bruises, un-natural interest in sex, lowself-esteem, and/or poor hygiene.
  • Report Suspected Abuse or Neglect.  If you think the child is in imminent danger, call the police.   Otherwise, contact the DFCS office of the county where the child lives.  (The Henry County DFCS 770.954.2014)
  • Volunteer your time and/or money for programs that support children and families like parent support groups and day care centers.