Posted by Emily Fretwell |
Some principles are just so fundamentally true that they cannot be disputed. One of those: Every child deserves to grow up feeling safe and loved. Call & Gentry Law Group is proud to serve as a sponsor for the Missouri KidsFirst Standing With Children Luncheon, which will be held on April 29, 2019 at the Millbottom Event Center in Jefferson City Missouri. The vision of Missouri KidsFirst is for every child to be safe from abuse. Child abuse and neglect is the most prevalent health problem children face, with the most serious array of consequences. At least one in four children have experienced child abuse (including physical, emotional, and/or sexual) or neglect at some point in their lives, and one in seven children experienced abuse or neglect in the last year (Finkelhor D, Turner HA, Shattuck A, Hamby SL. Prevalence of childhood exposure to violence, crime, and abuse: Results from the National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence. JAMA Pediatr. 2015;169(8), 746-754). This means that whether you work with youth, are a parent, or simply a member of the community, it is highly likely that a child you know or care for has experienced, or is currently experiencing, abuse or neglect.
Children who are abused can have a very difficult time. Child abuse and neglect can lead to poor physical, psychological and behavioral consequences well into adulthood, with significant costs to our State and our communities. We must take action to prevent child abuse and neglect before it ever happens to ensure every child is given the chance to thrive. Each of us has a responsibility to help end child abuse and neglect. With a focus on Policy, Prevention and Intervention, Missouri KidsFirst works to help us meet that responsibility. Missouri KidsFirst advocates in the Missouri General Assembly for policies and statewide funding for programs that protect and prioritize the safety and well-being of children. It helps to prevent child abuse by training adults, youth serving professionals, and community members to gain the critical child protection skills needed to prevent child abuse and neglect from ever happening, as well as strengthening interventions and responses when child abuse and neglect does occur to prevent further abuse. And Missouri KidsFirst intervenes by managing the SAFE-CARE network, Missouri’s medical response to child abuse, as well as through oversight of Missouri’s Child Advocacy Centers (CAC’s). Missouri’s twenty-two CAC’s provide a safe location where children who may have been subjected to abuse can tell their story one time to a trained interviewer, coordinated with a team of medical, law enforcement, mental health, prosecution and child protective service professionals.
Please join us in supporting Missouri KidsFirst and help us raise awareness about the responsibility of every adult in Missouri to protect our children from abuse. April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. Find out more at Missouri KidsFirst.