Douglas County commissioners adopted a resolution at its March 23 business meeting recognizing April as Child Abuse Prevention Month. The commissioners did so “recognizing that the prevention of …
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Douglas County commissioners adopted a resolution at its March 23 business meeting recognizing April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.
The commissioners did so “recognizing that the prevention of child abuse and neglect is helped by greater public awareness and supportive, involved communities,” according to a news release from the county.
“This proclamation is so important because what it does is it reminds the community that if you see something involving a child that isn’t right to you, it’s OK for you to call,” said Commissioner and Board Chair Lora Thomas during the meeting. “Don’t ever be worried about ‘I don’t want to be a tattle-tale, this isn’t my business,’ It is your business.”
The board’s resolution encourages those who suspect child abuse and neglect to report their concerns immediately by calling the Douglas County child abuse and neglect hotline at 303-663-6270. Calls to the alternative statewide hotline, 1-844-CO-4-KIDS (1-844-264-5437) will be routed to Douglas County child protection professionals, according to the news release.
“In 2020 many families in our county needed extra support as they faced change, stress and uncertainty,” Thomas said, according to the release. “We thank the individuals who made more than 3,700 calls to our Douglas County child abuse and neglect hotline last year and helped our children and families receive much-needed resources.”
Douglas County’s child abuse and neglect hotline received 3,724 reports in 2020, according to the resolution. This was about 600 fewer calls compared to the previous year’s reports, but that doesn’t mean there was a decrease in child abuse, said Ruby Richards with the county’s department of human services.
“We saw a decrease in reports in 2020 due to the pandemic and children not being visible in school and the community (for sports and activities),” Richards said.
Answers to frequently asked questions around child abuse and reporting are available at www.douglas.co.us/child-abuse-faqs/.
“Our primary message to the Douglas County community is if you see something, and you’re worried, make the call,” said Commissioner George Teal, according to the release. “We believe everyone plays a role in the prevention of child abuse and neglect.”
Suspected abuse is enough to report to the hotline, according to the county’s resources.
“Each April, as the commissioners recognize Child Abuse Prevention Month, we highlight the importance of partnering to prevent child abuse and neglect, while recognizing that the social and emotional well-being of children and families is critical to our community every day of the year,” said Commissioner Abe Laydon, vice chair of the board.
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