April is celebrated each year as the month that we should take action to help our children enjoy a happy, healthy childhood.
This is especially true this year, after a series of troubling incidents have come to light regarding the new Department of Child Services centralized hotline and the lack of intervention into crisis situations where children were being abused or neglected.
The Indiana General Assembly responded with bipartisan legislation (Senate Enrolled Act 286) that created an interim study committee on the state's hotline and other changes made to the Indiana Department of Child Services. I believe the system is failing and we need to understand what we can do to prevent the future abuse and neglect of our children.
I am hopeful there will be meetings and forums throughout the state in addition to the regular committee hearings at the Statehouse in Indianapolis. Let's show that we care about what happens to our children and celebrate Child Abuse Prevention Month by standing together and fighting for a better system of services for our children.
Below is a list of resources that I have found to be helpful in providing timely information, guidelines and tips to keep our children safe and secure:
U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services............www.childwelfare.gov/preventing
Court-Appointed Special Advocates for Children (CASA)............www.casaforchildren.org
Prevent Child Abuse America............www.preventchildabuse.org
Indiana Amber Alert Program............www.amberalertindiana.com
To report child abuse or neglect............1.800.800.5556
In case of emergencies involving children............Call 911