Everyone can play a role in preventing child abuse. That’s the message of this year’s Child Abuse Prevention Month campaign in April: Be a Hero in the Eyes of a Child.
Through its Facebook page, @ChampaignCountyDJFS, the Champaign County Department of Job and Family Services (CCDJFS) is offering ways for local residents to participate in the campaign and help prevent child abuse and neglect in their day-to-day lives.
“It takes one simple act of kindness at a time,” says Sara Wright, CCDJFS social services administrator. “I see a mom I know at the store, and I tell her she’s doing a great job. Or maybe I know a family that could be struggling, maybe they have an illness. I could make a meal for them.
“These types of things are heroic acts. That’s what this campaign is about, those little acts of kindness that really help make kids safe, because it helps support families.”
Stacy Cox, director of CCDJFS, adds, “It takes a community to protect a child, or to raise a child. It’s really those simple acts that play into that community connectedness.”
Ways to Participate in Child Abuse Prevention Month
The Champaign County Board of Commissioners has proclaimed April “A Celebration of Family and Children Month, in tribute to concerned citizens, professionals and foster parents who work together in the cause of protecting our county’s children.”
In addition, CCDJFS is promoting Child Abuse Prevention Month with coloring sheets distributed to schools and libraries, as well as pizza box toppers and drink coasters at local restaurants with dine-in service.
2020 Child Abuse Statistics
In 2020, CCDJFS Child Protective Services completed 228 investigations/assessments of reports of child abuse or neglect. Thirty-five of the reports were substantiated or indicated as cases of abuse or neglect. The department served an average of 37 families, on an ongoing basis, per month, and 33 youth were in agency custody.
But the pandemic had an impact on reporting of suspected child abuse and neglect, Wright said. “From March going into April 2020 we saw an over 60 percent decline in calls coming in. What that tells us, people weren’t seeing each other, and people weren’t seeing kids. Connectivity and connections matter” in helping to identify and prevent abuse.
Wright adds, “The more supported we can make people feel, the less we see the impact of hardships, like poverty and substance abuse, and the better that kids are going to be protected.”
The key message of the Be a Hero in the Eyes of a Child campaign, she said, is that “it’s the simple acts of kindness that make a huge difference. We know the numbers of abuse and neglect, because that’s what we track. But the numbers we don’t have is how much abuse and neglect was prevented by those simple acts that adults in the community are doing each and every day.”
Funds aimed to help small business hit by pandemic
“Our local economy has been negatively impacted with the Coronavirus and our small businesses are some of the hardest hit,” said Marcia Bailey CEP Economic Development Director. “These funds are an expense reimbursement grant and will help get the businesses through this difficult time."
To qualify for the grant program, businesses must:
Businesses that have received funding for expenses arising from the pandemic cannot submit the same expenses for reimbursement under the CARES Grant for Champaign County Small Businesses.
“We are so appreciative of our small businesses and although there is great uncertainty, Champaign County is hopeful that businesses receiving these grant funds will successfully persevere through the COVID-19 pandemic.” Bailey said.
Applications and grant guidelines are available at www.champaignworks.com/CARESGrantChampaignCounty beginning October 30, 2020. Application deadline is November 13, 2020 at 5:00 pm. Due to the short application period, we recommend you apply as soon as possible. In order to assist you, please send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Businesses are also encouraged to visit https://businesshelp.ohio.gov for additional assistance. Governor DeWine announced CARES Act funding through the State of Ohio for small business and others that have been impacted financially by the pandemic.
NACE is a nonprofit, nonpartisan professional association in its 64th year, representing over 3,000 county road officials and related professionals in the U.S. and Canada. In the U.S., local roads account for about 75% of highways and roads, or 2.93 million miles. Counties manage 1.74 million miles of those roads. Counties also own 231,000 bridges and operate one-third of the nation’s transit systems.
Champaign County Engineer Stephen McCall is in his 30th year of service with Champaign County, and first elected as County Engineer in 2012. Stephen has served on many County Engineers Association of Ohio committees, including the Ways and Means, Public and Local Support, Legislative and CEAO Handbook Co-Chair committees. In 2015, McCall served as President of the Professional Land Surveyors of Ohio. Locally he has served as the president of the Logan-Union-Champaign Planning Commission.