The Kent County News

Letter To The Editor

The Kent County News
Dear Editor:
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. This provides an opportunity to focus on ways in which we may all work together to ensure the safety and well-being of our children.

Between April 1, 2010 and March 30, 2011, the Kent County Department of Social Services received 187 calls regarding alleged child abuse or neglect. Information received in 87 of those calls met the established criteria for an investigation.

Protecting children from abuse and neglect is a community responsibility. While professionals who work with children are required by law to report suspected child abuse or neglect, citizens also play an important role. Kent County citizens may call the child protection hot line (1-800-332-6347) or the Kent County Department of Social Services (410-810-7600) to report any activity that may place a child at risk of harm. In Maryland, individuals making reports in good faith are protected from legal liability for making these reports.

Take time this month to talk with your children and discuss what to do if something bad happens. Establish a safe place and a safe person- a place and a person to whom your children may go if something makes them uncomfortable. Let your children tell you who they trust and where they feel comfortable.

There are many easy ways that we can each assist families who may be in need of assistance. And, in the process, we may help prevent child abuse and neglect. Simple acts, such as providing an extra set of hands to help a parent in a stressful public situation, offering to babysit for a family in need, lending an ear to frustrated parents who need reassurance, or referring a needy parent to the appropriate community services can make a difference. Through advocacy, volunteerism, outreach, and education, we can each make a difference in the life of a child, thereby making a positive contribution to the community as a whole. We encourage everyone to get involved today.

Linda C. Webb, LCSW
Kent County Department of Social Services

Filed in: Child Welfare, Kent County, Local News

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