April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and Prevent Child Abuse Gordon County encourages all individuals and organizations to play a role in making our community a better place for families. By ensuring that parents have the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to care for their children, we can help prevent child abuse and neglect by strengthening families and communities, explains Carol Vedrody, Executive Director of Prevent Child Abuse Gordon County.
While sexual and physical abuse may get the most attention, neglect is the most common form of child abuse. According to the Department of Family and Children Services, 72 percent of abuse cases in Gordon County involve neglect. Neglect is a pattern of failing to provide for a child’s basic needs to the extent that the child’s physical and/or psychological well-being are damaged or endangered; parents or caregivers who choose not to meet the basic needs of children in their care, despite their ability to do so.There are three types of neglect: Physical Neglect Failure to provide adequate food, clothing or hygiene.
Reckless disregard for the child’s safety, such as inattention to hazards in the home, drunk driving with kids in the car or leaving a baby unattended.
Refusal to provide, or delay in providing, necessary health care for the child.
Abandoning children without providing for their care or expelling children from the home without arranging for their care.
Failure to enroll children in school or provide them with an education.
Permitting or causing a child to miss too many days of school.
Refusal to follow up on obtaining services for a child’s special educational needs.
Inadequate nurturing or affection.
Exposure of the child to spousal abuse.
Permitting a child to drink alcohol or use recreational drugs.
Failure to intervene when the child demonstrates antisocial behavior.
Refusal of, or delay in providing, necessary psychological care.
Visible signs of child neglect include
Clothes dirty, ill-fitting, ragged, and/or not suitable for the weather.
Unwashed appearance; offensive body odor.
Indicators of hunger: asking for or stealing food, going through trash for food, eating too fast or too much when food is provided for a group.
Apparent lack of supervision: wandering alone, home alone, left in a car.
Colds, fevers, or rashes left untreated; infected cuts; chronic tiredness.
Frequent absence or lateness in school; troublesome, disruptive behavior or its opposite, withdrawal.
Failure to thrive; failure to relate to other people or to surroundings as a baby.
A single occurrence of one of these indicators isn’t necessarily a sign of child neglect, but a pattern of behaviors may demonstrate a lack of care that constitutes abuse. If you suspect a child is neglected you may contact the Gordon County Department of Family and Children Services at 706-624-1212. For additional information on how you can help prevent child abuse, contact Prevent Child Abuse Gordon County at 706-625-3311.
One Caring Community is a unique initiative facilitated by Prevent Child Abuse Gordon County. One Community Caring represents a collaboration of community-based agencies dedicated to providing a systematic approach to protecting young children ages birth to three and enhancing family relationships. The Gordon County System of Care establishes a continuum of care ensuring that families at all levels of need receive services appropriate for those specific needs. Building upon natural supports available to families, this continuum incorporates evidence-based practices, as well as traditional and non-traditional services and supports to enhance family relationships.
One Caring Community provides comprehensive child abuse prevention strategies targeting children birth to three years of age. Efforts aimed at reinforcing family bonds allow families to step away from cycles of abuse into cycles of healthy family relationships. Your donation to One Community Caring will support an array of services to Gordon County families. A donation of:
$5 distributes First Steps educational material to 5 new-born parents
$25 pays for 1 Nurturing Father parent education workbook
$100 provides supplies for 15 parents to attend a monthly parent support group
$250 delivers 8 Parent Education sessions to one Parents as Teachers participant
$500 offers 2 months of home visitation to one Healthy Families participant
For more information about One Caring Community, call Tina Grubbs, System of Care Administrator, Prevent Child Abuse Gordon County, at 706-625-3311, ext.13.