Louisville residents are invited to attend several events and special activities at area Neighborhood Places this month to recognize children in need as part of Child Abuse Prevention Month.
Neighborhood Place Child Abuse Awareness Day on Wednesday, April 17 will be an opportunity for every site in the community to focus on child protection awareness efforts and educate families about abuse prevention.
Governor Steve Beshear has proclaimed April Child Abuse Prevention Month in Kentucky, and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has proclaimed April Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month at all Neighborhood Place locations in Jefferson County.
Neighborhood Places are “one-stop” centers in Jefferson County that house several public health, education and human service agencies, including the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), Louisville Metro government, Seven Counties Services and Jefferson County Public Schools. Jefferson County has eight Neighborhood Places and three satellite locations. Each Neighborhood Place is guided by a Community Council made up of customers and people who live and work in the area.
The Neighborhood Place system provides frontline prevention services to low-income families. Over 70 percent of child abuse cases have poverty as a risk factor for child maltreatment. The goal of Neighborhood Place is to help families become economically self –sufficient by providing coordinated services that strengthen families and their communities.
Jefferson Service Region Administrator Jackie Stamps of CHFS’ Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) said that community is at the heart of the Neighborhood Place mission.
“The blended services that each Neighborhood Place provides are customer-focused, but the overall goal of the program is family well-being and safety,” she said. “During Child Abuse Prevention Month, staff is emphasizing both the community and individual responsibility to protect kids.”
Child abuse reports in Jefferson County increased in 2012. More than 8,400 calls to the abuse hotline met investigation criteria for abuse, neglect or dependency. Those calls represented 6,798 families and 10,641 children. More than 3,200 reports were substantiated for abuse or neglect.
Kentucky law states that those who suspect child abuse or neglect must report it to the local DCBS office, the county or Commonwealth attorney or law enforcement.
Louisville residents can report suspected child abuse at (502) 595-4550. DCBS’ statewide hotline for toll-free reporting is (877) KYSAFE1. If a child is in immediate danger, call 911.
Here is a listing of the child abuse prevention activities scheduled at Jefferson County’s Neighborhood Places this month:
Bridges of Hope Neighborhood Place (1411 Algonquin Parkway): Bridges of Hope staff is collaborating with the site’s community council to raise public awareness of child abuse by decorating the offices with pinwheels and distributing blue ribbons and informational brochures to all staff.
Neighborhood Place at the L & N Building (908 W. Broadway): Staff at this location will display a large banner all month with the slogan, “Taking care of kids takes a lot of patience. Be careful about who cares for your child.”
Northwest Neighborhood Place (4018 W. Market St.) This site will host a panel discussion on child abuse prevention from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on April 17. Panelists will include representatives from Seven Counties Services, the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness, and the Jefferson County DCBS office. Also in April, all visitors to Northwest will receive a child abuse prevention card with tips for showing their kids love and care every day.
Neighborhood Place Ujima: From 11 a.m. to noon on April 17, this site is hosting a workshop on pediatric brain injury presented by Cynthia Curtsinger, forensic nurse manager at Kosair Charities Division of Pediatric Forensic Medicine and the Department of Pediatrics University of Louisville. The workshop is open to the public.
To learn more about Neighborhood Places, log on to http://www.louisvilleky.gov/NeighborhoodPlace/.
Learn more about the cabinet’s efforts to prevent child abuse online at http://chfs.ky.gov/dcbs/dpp/childsafety.htm.
Photo Credits: Neighborhood Place