In 1982, Congress resolved to help raise awareness and educate the public about the issues of child abuse and neglect by designating the week of June 6-12 as the first National Child Abuse Prevention Week. In 1983, the month of April was declared the first National Child Abuse Prevention Month. The establishment of a Child Abuse Prevention Initiative as a year-long effort partners with the child abuse prevention community – organizations and individuals dedicated to raising awareness through a variety of tools, resources, activities and public awareness events.
In Alabama, the Department of Human Resources oversees the administration of services that help protect children and educate the public about the issues of neglect and abuse. These programs are provided through the Family Services Division of the organization. Services provided include:
• Maintaining the Central Registry on Child Abuse and Neglect;
• Administering the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC), which reviews and facilitates applications for travel, placements, foster care, and adoptions of children entering and leaving the state;
• Applying for and monitoring grants for protective services projects; and
• Providing case consultation services.
Through work with organizations such as Brantwood Children’s Home, employees at our firm are often brought face-to-face with the realities of a home torn apart by child abuse and neglect. At Brantwood, children who can no longer stay with their parents because of a dangerous or traumatic situation or another crisis, are brought into a new kind of family and a new kind of home. Brantwood provides a safe haven, a roof over their head, meals, and encouragement to help them grow into strong adults despite the challenges they face. Thank goodness for a place like Brantwood. It would be a tragedy for any child to face a life filled with anything but love and support, and that’s why places like Brantwood are so important and must be supported.
Unfortunately, the number of children reported as abused or neglected continues to rise. The Department of Human Resources calls on the public for help in reporting any suspected abuse or neglect. There is a helpful list of Frequently Asked Questions on the Department web site to help identify child abuse, and to report it. Visit www.dhr.state.al.us/page.asp?pageid=348. For more information about Brantwood, visit www.brantwoodchildrenshome.org.
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