‘Be the voice for them,’ Recognizing and reporting child abuse

Local News

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) – Following the death of 10-year-old Takoda Collins, Montgomery County officials announced they are opening an internal investigation into the Child Services Agency and how it handles reports of abuse.

For Ginger Goubeaux, director of Daybreak Dayton, this investigation could bring about change, but the issue of reporting abuse can go deeper than many realize.

“It can be really easy to assume that Children Services is going to be able to address every report of abuse,” said Goubeaux. “Sometimes reports, or children, fall through the cracks.”

But Goubeaux encourages adults to remain vigilant and be advocates for children by continuing to voice concerns.

“People have a lot of concerns like ‘What if I report something and it’s not really happening?’ If we don’t bring our concerns to the authorities who we need to bring our concerns to, then we can be guaranteed that a case will never be opened,” explained Goubeaux.

Goubeaux has spent more than a decade working with Daybreak Dayton and is a mental health specialist. She shares that kids who use Daybreak’s services are usually screened for abuse and shelter employees are then required to report. However, it is not a fool-proof system.

Caseworkers can’t be with chldren all of the time which means everyone needs to look out for warning signs

“We are a community of adults who are responsible, or should feel responsible, for protecting the children in our community,” she said.

Goubeaux also explains that mentally, many children experience barriers to understanding their abuse and knowing how to protect themselves.

“They have a lot of shame and self blame around being victims,” explained Goubeaux. “That’s where the responsibility falls on us to be able to recognize those signs of abuse that are occuring with children and then also to be the voice for them.”

For more information on Daybreak Dayton, click here.

There are trained employees available for those who need help 24/7.

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