Submitted Column

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. This month and throughout the year, Adams County Children Services encourages all individuals and organizations to play a role in making Adams County, Ohio a better place for families. By ensuring that parents have the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to care for their children, we can help prevent child abuse and neglect by strengthening families and communities.

Childhood is a formative time, and abuse and neglect have devastating long-term effects on young lives that transcend into adulthood.  Ohio is committed to raising children in a secure and loving environment where they can thrive, develop character and learn to be responsible citizens with the help of all Ohioans.   

In 2019, more than 19,800 confirmed reports of child abuse and/or neglect were recorded in Ohio, equating to approximately one report every 26 minutes.  Adams County Children Services received 503 reports of child abuse/neglect in 2019.  Prevention remains the best defense for our children and families.  Adams County Children Services currently has 128 children in the temporary or permanent custody of the agency, at this time.  These children are placed in foster care; kinship care with relatives/non-relatives; Wilson Children’s Home (CRC) or other children’s residential centers.  A children’s residential center” (CRC) means a facility in which eleven or more children, including the children of any staff residing at the facility, are given non-secure care and supervision twenty-four hours a day.  Wilson Children’s Home can provide housing for up to 20 abused/neglected children, ages 10-18. 

Keeping children safe is a community responsibility, and prevention must be a community task. Every segment of society must be involved, including health and law enforcement professionals, schools, businesses, the media, government agencies, community and faith organizations, and especially parents themselves. Teachers and physicians need to recognize the symptoms of child abuse; parents need to ask for help in overcoming addictions or controlling violent behavior; communities must be willing to fund programs and services to protect children from abuse; and the media needs to raise public awareness of the availability of those programs and services.

Anyone can report suspected child abuse or neglect. Reporting abuse or neglect can protect a child and get help for a family—it may even save a child’s life.  If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected contact Adams County Children Services at (937)544-2511.

For more information about child abuse prevention programs during the month of April and throughout the year or for information on foster care/adoption, contact Dawn Grooms, Adams County Children Services, (937)544-2511. 

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