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Doing Your Part In Reporting Child Abuse

Helping those who can't help themselves.

April is Child Abuse Awareness Month and many agencies are reminding everyone to do their part in stopping child abuse.

"Children you know, can't fend for themselves, they don't ask to be put in those situations and somebodys got to have a voice for them. So if you can be that voice for you, then I encourage you," explains Washington County Sheriff's Office Detective, Carrie Smithberger.

Investigators say child abuse is constant and can be anything from physical to emotional.

"A lot of people feel like if they made a call and the child wasn't removed, that nothing was done, and because we're so confidential when we work with families, it's we want to keep their privacy," explains Washington County Child Service's case worker, Kim Henson.

Washington County Children's Services says they investigate every call they get. Case works say their focus is doing what's best for both the child and the family.

"We would like every child to stay with their family if they can and I think it's really a loss for us when children don't get to go home.
It's about trusting services to work and people to change," explains Henson.

Children's services says in most cases they are able to reunite the child with their family in some way. They regularly monitor families with open cases, offering counseling for family and children. They can also refer families, directing them to parenting classes or addressing other outside concerns.

"Drugs and alcohol provide a lot of our problems in our community, so we're constantly fighting that battle," says Henson.

They say it's a battle worth fighting making sure every child has a safe home.

"There are services in our area whether you are a child or you are an adult but you know your voice needs to be heard and your story needs to be told and there are services and people out there for you," explains Smithberger.

Washington County Children Services is having a Child Abuse Awareness Walk from 11 until 2 in the afternoon at East Muskingum Park on in Marietta. All are invited and the event is free with entertainment.


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