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Fight Against Child Abuse

 

Nobles, Ladies and Friends of Kosair Shriners,

Fighting child abuse is an ambitious mission but one that is necessary.  Kosair Charities is joining with other many other entities to conduct an organized, funded effort to fight child abuse.  The article in the Courier Journal is linked below.

Randy Coe, PP

 

http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20120405/NEWS01/304050038/children-abuse-prevention

 

(Photos of this announcement event are also located on the link above)

 
April 5, 2012
 

10-year effort to end child abuse deaths launches

Kosair Charities part of plan to eradicate deaths, injuries

 
By Deborah Yetter  | The Courier-Journal
 

Led by Kosair Charities, officials with a dozen local health and child welfare groups announced Thursday they are launching an ambitious 10-year effort to eradicate child abuse deaths and injuries in the region.

“Kentuckiana will not stand idly by as abuse, neglect and violence affect so many of our children and families with devastating consequences,” said Jerry Ward, chairman of the Kosair Charities board.

Details of the recently organized effort haven’t been developed. But Ward said it will be the most comprehensive effort to date to tackle what he and others said is a persistent problem in the Kentucky and Southern Indiana areas served by the nonprofit groups involved.

“We just felt we could have a major impact on the issue by working together,” said Ward, among the officials who announced the plan at a news conference at Louisville Slugger Field. While the details are pending, organizers said they scheduled the announcement Thursday because April has been designated national Child Abuse Prevention Month.

“Our goal is attainable,” Ward said. “Every child has a right be to raised in a safe and loving home.”

Several officials at the event said they have been troubled by ongoing reports of deaths and serious injuries from child abuse, including last year’s fatal beating of Amy Dye, a 9-year-old Western Kentucky girl whose death came to represent the failures of Kentucky’s child welfare system.

“We’ve allowed children to stay in dangerous situations too long and families to stay in desperate situations without the support they need,” said Jerry Cantrell, executive director of Bellewood Presbyterian Home for Children, which is participating in the project.

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services received about 76,500 calls about suspected child abuse or neglect during the fiscal year that ended June 30. Of those, the cabinet substantiated abuse or neglect in about 9,500 cases involving more than 15,000 children, according to the cabinet’s most recent annual report to the legislature.

Kentucky currently ranks eighth nationally in its rate of child abuse deaths, according to the 2010 Child Maltreatment report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the most recent figures available. Kentucky reported 30 child abuse deaths that year.

While the goal of eradicating child abuse and neglect sounds ambitious, officials said they believe the support of Kosair Charities — a philanthropic arm of Louisville’s Kosair Shrine Temple — puts it within reach.

“Kosair putting their name behind it is huge,” said Dan Fox, president of Family & Children’s Place, one of the state’s 15 regional child advocacy centers that serve victims of sexual abuse.

Kosair Charities — a major source of local funds for children’s health and welfare services — is prepared to put money into the project, Ward said. He couldn’t say how much, but Ward expects it will be announced next month when Kosair Charities announces its annual grants to the community.

Kosair Charities already helps fund many of the groups participating in the project, such as Home of the Innocents and the University of Louisville’s forensic pediatric center, which evaluates children for abuse.

Dr. Melissa Currie, who runs the U of L program, said Kosair Charities already has been generous in its support of such programs.

“They’ve really helped us take abuse prevention and intervention to a new level,” she said.

Dr. Alex Gerassimides, a Louisville physician and wife of Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, also spoke, praising the groups for coming together under Kosair Charities.

“It shows our community knows how serious this issue is,” said Gerassimides, a member of the Family & Children’s Place board.

Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates — which is participating in the project — acknowledged the goal to eradicate child abuse is ambitious.

“Let’s be clear, the issue we’re talking about is vast and deep and it’s complex, “ Brooks said.

But officials at the event said they believe it is possible to make significant improvements. Gordon Brown, president of the Home of the Innocents, said one thing the group could do is to identify and find ways to replicate programs that work.

For example, Home of the Innocents currently offers a 12-week program for families referred by the court in cases where parents are at risk of losing their children, he said. Nearly all the families who have completed the course stay together, Brown said.

“These parents love their kids,” he said. “They don’t want to lose them.”

 

Child deaths

Highest rates of child deaths from abuse or neglect

Rank

State

2010 Deaths

Rate per 100,000

1.

Florida

180

4.4

2.

New Mexico

19

3.7

3.

Texas

222

3.2

4.

Vermont

4

3.17

5.

Ohio

83

3.06

6.

Michigan

71

3.02

7.

Georgia

77

2.98

8.

Kentucky

30

2.96

9.

Oklahoma

27

2.94

10.

Arkansas

19

2.7

Source: Child Maltreatment 2010,U.S. Department for Health and Human Services

 

 

Additional Facts

 

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