ECHN Promotes Child Abuse Prevention Awareness

Mar 18, 2009 - 

In recognition of April as Child Abuse Prevention Month, the Eastern Connecticut Health Network Family Development Center staff will be at Manchester Memorial Hospital and Rockville General Hospital on Wednesday, April 15, distributing awareness giveaways and providing helpful information. The community is welcome to stop by to meet the Family Development Center staff.

At Manchester Hospital, they will be located in the hospital's main lobby between the hours of 7:30 and 9 a.m. and again from 3-4:30 p.m. At Rockville Hospital, the staff will greet visitors at the entrance from the Visitors Parking lot (Union Street) from 7:30 to 9 a.m. and again from 3-4:30 p.m. The staff will also be in the cafeteria of both hospitals between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.

According to the Child Maltreatment 2006 annual report, the most recent data from the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS), approximately 905,000 children in the U.S. were found to be victims of child abuse or neglect in calendar year 2006. Of this number, 64.1 percent suffered neglect, 16 percent were physically abused, 8.8 percent were sexually abused, 6.6 percent were emotionally or psychologically maltreated, and 2.2 percent were medically neglected (this number may rise significantly during this economy's high unemployment rates). In addition, 15.1 percent of victims experienced "other" types of maltreatment such as "abandonment," "threats of harm to the child," and "congenital drug addiction." (Children who were victims of more than one type of maltreatment were counted for each maltreatment.)

The Social State of Connecticut 2008 data indicate that child abuse rates have been declining in Connecticut since 2002. In 2006, 52 out of every 1,000 Connecticut children were referred in cases of child abuse versus 63.7 per 1,000 between 1990 and 2002. The report states that "neglect" is the most common form of child maltreatment—91.3 percent of substantiated reports, "physical abuse" was cited in six percent of the cases, and "medical neglect" and "sexual abuse" were four percent of the cases. Nine fatalities were attributed to child maltreatment in 2006 (most current data).

The Family Development Center (FDC) at ECHN supports families through a variety of programs and services. The team of committed, caring professionals is dedicated to helping families develop their strengths and parenting confidence. Staff backgrounds include education, child development, social work, counseling, public health, and human services. FDC programs are available at sites throughout Manchester, Vernon, and surrounding towns. These include hospitals, churches, child care centers, and libraries, as well as consultative visits to the home. For information about the Family Development Center and its services, please call (860) 646-1222, Ext. 2450.

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