[StBernard] Governor Blanco proclaims April as Child Abuse Prevention Month
westley at da-parish.com
Tue Apr 3 21:57:17 EDT 2007
Governor Blanco proclaims April as Child Abuse Prevention Month
BATON ROUGE - Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco has declared April to be Child Abuse Prevention Month in Louisiana to raise awareness that prevention is everyone's responsibility.
"Each and every one of us must be involved in protecting our children," said Governor Blanco in issuing the proclamation. "We can make a difference not only by reporting suspected abuse and neglect, but also by nurturing communities that actively support families."
The Department of Social Services' Office of Community Services investigated 23,388 allegations of abuse in 2006. Of that number, 13,729, or 59 percent, were considered to be valid, representing 10,525 children. OCS currently has slightly more than 5,000 children in foster care.
OCS Assistant Secretary Marketa Garner-Gautreau emphasized that abuse has no social boundaries and occurs within all income ranges. Children are mistreated most frequently when their caretakers become overwhelmed and don't kno! w how to cope, she said.
"The effect of abuse is so long-lasting and so devastating that we must do everything we can to prevent it," Garner-Gautreau added.
For tips on child abuse prevention, go to www.dss.state.la.us <http://www.dss.state.la.us> and click on "Preventing Child Abuse." You also may visit Prevent Child Abuse of Louisiana at www.pcal.org <http://www.pcal.org> .
To report suspected abuse or neglect, call your local DSS Office of Community Services. To find contact information on each local office, go to www.dss.state.la.us <http://www.dss.state.la.us> , click on "Office of Community Services," then "OCS parish directory."
More information about the StBernard