Monday/Jan 9 roundup

Missouri child abuse task force meets for first time. The 16-member Task Force for the Prevention of Sexual Abuse of Children met, the Springfield News-Leader reported. “Lawmakers created the task force during the previous legislative session to investigate causes and cures for abuse,” according to the report. Task force members met last Friday for the first time, but haven’t decided exactly what they’ll do yet.

Crying Baby program used in two Colorado hospitals. Since 2009, every new parent at hospitals in Colorado Springs and Fort Carson watches a 15-minute video, talks with a nurse, and signs a pledge not to abuse their child, according to KRDO-TV in
Colorado Springs. “Parents keep a copy which includes the phone number for KPC Kids Place , a center in Colorado Springs that provides free care for children if parents feel overwhelmed.”

Teen says community needs to support abuse victims. In an interesting guest column in the San Jose Mercury News, Kim Jejia-Cuellar, who attends Media Academy in Oakland, CA, writes: “Often at my high school, teenagers play around, touching each other’s hair and play-fighting by calling each other names. Some may not think it’s a big deal, but the truth is that many times it is. Not everyone feels comfortable playing that way. Throughout my years in high school, I’ve noticed that teachers don’t always step in to stop the name-calling or the play-fighting.”

Pennsylvania awards grants to prevent child abuse. The Department of Public Welfare has awarded more than $1.5 million in Children’s Trust Fund grants to 13 community organizations to prevent child abuse and neglect, according to a department news release. “The hospitals and organizations will use evidence- or research-based methods to provide comprehensive support services to pregnant and parenting teens and young adults.”

Baltimore County, MD, studying effects of domestic violence on children. According to a Baltimore Sun report, “Baltimore County’s social services department has partnered with experts from the Johns Hopkins University and the University of Minnesota to develop a screening tool that would, for the first time, quantify the impact of domestic violence on children.” They’re developing a questionnaire that 40 social workers will be trained to use to interview children. This will help them pinpoint the more serious cases and get them and their parents services.

All 120 schools in Plymouth, England, to adopt child abuse support program. This report from ThisisPlymouth.co.uk is a little light on the details, but fascinating nonetheless. In Operation Encompass, if officers were called to a pupil’s home where domestic abuse occurred during the night, the following day an adult who had received specialized training was informed and supported the child at school. This was done as a pilot project in 14 schools, and is now being rolled out to 120 schools throughout Plymouth.

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