FAIRBORN, Ohio (WDTN) – Wright State University is leading an effort to stop child abuse and neglect.
A recently introduced campaign, called “The Power to Create a Better Future,” focuses on raising awareness and helping communities tackle the issue.
A WSU-led group of health care, social work and family support organizations form the Southwest Ohio Regional Prevention Council. The Ohio Children’s Trust Fund helps provide funding for the council serving Adams, Brown, Butler, Clermont, Clinton, Hamilton, Highland and Warren counties.
Similar councils serve the remaining regions across the state, including a West regional council led by Montgomery County officials.
Jane Dockery, the Associate Director of Applied Policy Research at WSU, explained preventing child abuse and neglect is a high priority in the Southwest region because of its high risk factors.
Researchers say children are at a greater risk for abuse and neglect in their families are dealing with the stress of poverty, substance abuse and chronic health problems.
Dockery said one in five children in the southwest region live in poverty. She also pointed to the area’s struggle with the drug crisis and higher than average domestic violence.
“It’s a challenge that can be tackled if everybody links arms. We all have a role to play,” Dockery said.
She explained “The Power to Create a Better Future” campaign aims to clarify those roles, provide resources and spread awareness.
“People can recalibrate, they can reach out for the help they need and community members can take an active role in preventing child abuse and neglect,” she said.
The campaign features toolkits for teachers, social workers and others working with children. It also provides public education about the warning signs of abuse and neglect and gives advice about how to create healthy, nurturing environments for children.
“It’s just simple things that each of us can do to contribute to keeping children happy, safe, healthy,” Dockery said.
You can check out the campaign and find other resources by clicking here.