Saturday, April 3, 2010

April = Child Advocacy! Part I

Sarah, from the fabulous Sprout Reviews blog, wrote this great post raising awareness for Child Advocacy in April, please share it and spread the message to end Child Abuse!

Let me be the first to say, “Hello April!!” I am so excited for this much needed warmer weather and a few other things…

April is a busy month here with spring arriving and all the yard work, gardening, and playing in the park it tends to bring us. April is also a special month for me because it hosts two issues I am passionate about in life, child abuse and autism. This month people all over the country will be engaging in activities geared towards increasing parental, child, and community information on child abuse and autism. April is a very special month in child advocacy.

With all the talk of the economy these days I thought I’d throw out a figure for you, $103,754,017,492. That’s a pretty large number and unfortunately it’s not the amount in my bank account or the number of Milk-Duds I can eat without gaining a single pound. It happens to be the annual cost of child abuse in this country in terms of the US dollar in 2007 (1)  . Can you believe it? After reading the study in the footnote below done by Prevent Child Abuse America, it isn’t hard to see the cost of child abuse and neglect. It is a large financial burden on our mental/health care, child welfare services, and law enforcement systems.

Again, these days everyone is running around, “Well, if the government really wanted to save money they should cut/reduce/banish/exile (insert you’re least favorite governmentally funded program here).” Well, this one is mine. I think we should help promote groups like Prevent Child Abuse America and not only will we save a whole lot of money, but more importantly we can save a whole lot of little lives. This is where the number 1,760 becomes far larger than 103,754,017,492 because 1,760 is the number of innocent lives lost to child abuse and neglect in the year 2007 (2) . We will never be able to put a price on that.
So if you are sitting here reading this and feeling motivated to make a difference you might be someone like me; a mother, a daughter, a friend, and perhaps like me also a child abuse survivor. You might even be a teacher, childcare provider, doctor, or social worker, but it doesn’t take a special title to be affected by child abuse. 

Go ahead and check out these links to some great resources and programs you can support to help prevent child abuse.

Also, don’t forget to research your local department of social services. Most are hosting special events this month for families and communities!
(1) Ching-Tung Wang, and John Holton, Total Estimated Cost of Child Abust and Neglect in the United States Economic Impact Study, September 2007
(2) Child Welfare Information Gateway