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Preventing Child Abuse: Ways to Make a Difference

Child Abuse Prevention Month highlights awareness of youngsters being abused, abandoned, neglected or are homeless. COURTESY PHOTOS

In recognition of Child Abuse Prevention Month, Youth Haven is offering ways you might help create awareness in regards to the impact of kid abuse and neglect, discover children who might have support and know where to refer families for resources and assistance.

Established in 1983, Child Abuse Prevention Month is an annual observance every April in the US dedicated to raising awareness and stopping child abuse. Greater than 1 million children are victims of kid abuse and neglect annually, in keeping with state child protective service agencies. Many victims don’t receive help because they aren’t reported to the system.

Keeping children and youths locally protected and free from abuse requires partnerships amongst agencies, schools, religious organizations, law enforcement agencies, and the business community. Youth Haven collaborates with other local organizations and state agencies to advocate for the security of all children.

Protecting children and youths also requires that every of us take responsibility for recognizing and reporting signs of abuse and neglect.

Blue pinwheels on the Youth Haven Campus symbolize every child’s right to a protected and blissful childhood.

The best way to recognize signs of abuse:

¦ Unexplained changes in behavior or personality

¦ Becoming withdrawn

¦ Seeming anxious

¦ Becoming uncharacteristically aggressive

¦ Lacks social skills and has few friends, if any

¦ Poor bond or relationships with a parent

The best way to recognize signs of neglect:

¦ Ravenous, begging, stealing or hoarding food

¦ Having poor hygiene, matted hair, dirty skin, or body odor

¦ Frequent illnesses, infections, or sores

¦ Talking about nobody being home to offer care

¦ Incessantly late or absent from school

¦ Wearing inadequate clothing, especially in cool or cold weather

Two easy ways to report abuse or neglect:

¦ By Telephone 1-800-96ABUSE | 800-962-2873

¦ Online Web Reporting reportabuse. dcf.state.fl.us

“It’s crucial that we proceed to lift awareness for this necessary cause and for the security of our kids and youths. If you happen to know of any child or teen who has been abused, please report it,” said Linda Goldfield, Youth Haven CEO.

All of the youngsters and youths that come to Youth Haven have been abused, abandoned, neglected or are homeless. Founded in 1972, Youth Haven was established to meet an instantaneous need for emergency shelter for youngsters who had been removed suddenly from a traumatic home situation. Our 18.5-acre therapeutic campus houses 70 youth with around-the-clock staffing and specialized care. Youth Haven views challenges as opportunities in helping each child gain confidence, independence, and success as they proceed to strengthen the community they serve; laying the muse for youngsters and youths to have hope for a brighter, higher future.

For added information on child abuse in Florida, visit www.myflfamilies.com/services/child-family/child-and-family-well-being or www2.myflfamilies.com/service-programs/abuse-hotline/overview.shtml. ¦

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