Your unique role is saving a child today

We are thrilled with our “new look” here in the blogosphere and so thankful to have our blog finally at home within our company’s website…how do you like us now?

I wanted to make our first blog entry at our new home something that is very important to us as therapists, mothers, & women.  That subject is child abuse. The overwhelming amount of press regarding the scandal at Penn State has sparked discussions among ourselves and between our families and friends.  And while we aren’t interested in taking a stand on a particular situation or school, we are passionate about taking a stand on child abuse prevention and hope this entry will inspire you to do the same.


Here are some statistics that define this problem.


  • More than 5 children die each day as a result of child abuse.


  • 1 in 4 girls will be sexually abused in their lifetime.


  • 79.4% of those adults perpetrating against children are the parents of the victim. One-third of all parents who were abused in childhood, typically abuse their own children. 81% of families with reported cases of child abuse, neglect and maltreatment were involved in alcohol & substance abuse.


  • A new case of child abuse is reported every 10 seconds in the United States


As you may know, child abuse is not limited to physical abuse.  This graph from illustrates this.

As you can see, neglect is the largest area of child abuse and not surprisingly neglect often leads to other forms of abuse.  We are assuming that if you are reading this from our site, you have a heart for children.  And what we know from working with children and families is that adults are the key to protecting our children. WE need to remind ourselves that children are…simply that…children. They depend on our life experiences, confidence, and bravery to stand up for them when they need us. We are their voice. That means that YOU (yes, you) as a adult can do the following for children – whether you are a parent or not:


  • If you see something inappropriate, whether that be blatant abuse or a situation that could lead to the endangerment of a child – report it right away. This isn’t always an easy thing, but if you stick to the facts of the situation in your report, you can be assured that you are doing the right thing.  Here is a link from the US Department of Health & Human Resources that details exactly how to report:


  • As parents, make smart choices with your child. Remember that your most important role in their life is PROTECTING THEM. Be skeptical and don’t feel guilty about it. Require background checks and high accountability standards for daycare or programs they attend.  Don’t permit play dates or sleepovers unless you feel safe with the other family and know them well. When our oldest daughter reached school age and started requesting to play at the homes of children we didn’t know extremely well, I was often sheepish about asking questions such as if there were unlocked firearms in the home. I don’t care about offending others any more. If the home is unsafe for my child, they don’t go. No guilt on my part.


  • Be an advocate for child safety in programs involving children in which you work or volunteer. As a therapist working in early intervention, I have been required to undergo a state background check yearly. Yes, it is often an inconvenience, but it is a necessity and I do it because I love children and families.  At my church, where I volunteer in Children’s Ministry, we adopted a safe sanctuaries policy a few years ago that is an actual document that details specific rules that all adults follow such as a two person rule (ensuring an adult is never 1 on 1 with a child), a trial period when a person joins our church before they can volunteer with children, requirement of reference checks, and ongoing training on child safety. Policies like this protect children AND volunteers.


  • Be a participant for programs in your community that advocate for and protect children.  Participate in fund raising and volunteer for programs like CASA ( Be aware that many DHHR offices are under staffed and under funded. At one point, in our community, I was told a referral to CPS would take up to 6 months to follow up on due to these issues. Unacceptable. Children are dead by that time. Write letters. Make calls. Have your voice heard to elected officials. Here’s how to find them (


  • Remember that desperation often leads to abuse. Find community outreach programs that allow you to support those new parents who need help. National and State Early Head Start (, and programs that support young parents by offering resources, mentoring, and respite are invaluable. Be a friend to those with young babies. I couldn’t have made it without my family and friends that brought meals, scrubbed floors, did laundry, and held a reflux baby while I napped. New parents need education and support. That was part of our motivation for creating 1-2-3 Just Play With Me (see our home page for details). Educated parents are empowered to care for their children


My hope is that these suggestions don’t leave you afraid, but extremely empowered and excited. YOU can make a difference…for your own child and for other children in the world. It’s an important role but one that was made JUST FOR YOU. Embrace it.

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