A recent report released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the 2010 KIDS COUNT Data Book, ranks Louisiana 49th out of 50 states in overall child well-being, a position we have held for the past nine years. Louisiana falls well below the national average on many of the indicators. The future prosperity of our state depends on our ability to foster the health and well being of the next generation.
Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana strives to change the way Louisiana thinks about preventing child abuse. Too often, when asked how child abuse and neglect is prevented, the public’s response is simply to report suspicions to child welfare officials. We need to understand that reporting suspected abuse is not prevention, but intervention — getting involved after abuse has already occurred.
Research shows that the toxic stress children experience when exposed to extreme and sustained trauma, like child abuse and neglect, can be devastating to their development. Toxic stress damages the developing brain and adversely affects an individual’s learning and behavior, as well as increases susceptibility to physical and mental illness.
By preventing abuse and neglect we are ensuring that our children are safe, healthy and have the opportunity to grow into productive members of society.
PCA Louisiana encourages parents, partners and the community to call our KIDLINE at 1-800-CHILDREN (244-5373). This statewide telephone service provides crisis intervention, support, parenting information and referrals.
For additional information about PCA Louisiana’s programs and services, please visit www.pcal.org.
Amanda Brunson, Baton Rouge
*Article can be found in The News Star
Parenting can be challenging, but as stress rises due to hardship and disastrous situations such as the oil spill, parents and caregivers may find themselves in an even more tenuous predicament. Generally, these are the times when parents are in need of the most help when it comes to taking care of their children.
Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana offers a toll free number for parents to call that provides crisis intervention, counseling, and referrals to community resources. Counselors are available 7 days a week from 8am to 8pm by calling our KIDLINE at 1-800-CHILDREN (244-5373). Any Louisianan with a question about parenting, child well-being and safety, or other issues like child abuse will find assistance from KIDLINE. If you identify with any of the following groups, please call KIDLINE, 1-800-CHILDREN, today:
- Parents, grandparents and caregivers who are requesting parenting tips, struggling with caring for a new baby, have questions about child development or need assistance with problem solving.
- Adult survivors of child abuse and others impacted by child maltreatment seeking a safe and confidential place for support, referrals to therapeutic services and/or information and educational materials about child maltreatment.
- Family and child-serving professionals concerned about a child or situation in their community or seeking guidance on issues related to child safety, protective factors for families and communities or identification of risk for harm to a child.
- School-age youth with questions or concerns about difficult topics such as bullying, violence, alcohol and drugs, peer relationships, personal development, family problems and other issues they encounter.
Supporting families and giving children the best start in life is important. Help is a phone call away.
The New Orleans Saints full back not only tackles Indianapolis Colts but also tough issues like sexual abuse through his foundation.
The Heath Evans Foundation focuses on children and their families that have been affected by sexual abuse. He is an advocate for good parenting and strong values. Check out his new series of videos “Parents Make a Difference.”
There are times when we see a parent disciplining a child in public at the grocery store, shopping center, or the pediatrician’s office. There isn’t a problem with discipline, but sometimes a frustrated parent can take it too far.
What do you do? Do you step in? Is it even your place to help?
Witnessing a parent discipline his/her child can be uncomfortable. However, a parent should discipline by guiding and teaching. A parent should NEVER be mean or harsh to the child. When this line is crossed in public, there are ways you can helpfully step in! Sometimes all a parent needs is some sympathy or a distraction. Read our tips on ways you can help…
“He seems to be trying your patience.”
“Is he tired? Does he need a nap?”
Empathize with the parent, i.e. “Children can wear you out, can’t they? Is there anything I can do to help?”
Also, empathizing with the child can be just as effective. For example, “You look tired. I bet you want to go home.”
Sometimes striking up a conversation is the easiest way to dissolve the situation. See if you can re-direct the parents attention away from the child.
Distracting the child by engaging in a conversation can calm the parent’s nerves.
If you fear the physical safety of the child is in danger alert the store manager.
Find something positive to say about the child to the parent, i.e. “She has beautiful eyes” or “What an adorable child.”
Parenting can be very stressful, and any assistance you can offer to allow a parent a few seconds to calm down could greatly help a child and a parent in the long run. Remember DISTRACTION is key!
Call KIDLINE, 1-800-CHILDREN [244-5373] for more parenting tips.
At the age of 9, I became one of those statistics of girls being sexually abused by an entrusted adult. He was my vocal coach. I did not remain silent. I told my secret. After the sentencing of the perpetrator, one of his other victims thanked me for speaking out, and made me promise never to stop singing.
Ever since then, I have made it my mission to help others to “tell their secret and save their voice.” I have become very open with this subject because sharing and helping others is extremely healing for me and, I don’t want anyone else to be hurt like I was. My life’s experiences have made me strong and courageous and I want to help empower others.
I made a promise to myself to not be a victim and be a survivor. I took that mentality on and I ran with it. My abuse is a part of me. I embrace it. It made me into the person I am today. I am a strong, courageous young woman that has the power to move mountains, and that is the mentality I want other survivors to embrace. Together we can stop abuse. Take a Stand. Speak up.
Olivia Ruby is an inspiration to all, and Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana respects her bravery and perseverance in helping others. Don’t be afraid to speak out.
Call 1-800-CHILDREN [244-55373].
Father’s Day is this weekend, and every dad wants a “World’s Greatest Dad” coffee cup. Try our tips to make this Father’s Day the best yet!
- Spend time with your children. How a father spends his time tells his children what’s important to him. Treasuring children often means sacrificing other things, but it is essential to make time for your kids. Kids grow up so quickly, and missed opportunities are forever lost.
- Keep dialogue open. All too often the only time a father speaks to his children is when they have done something wrong. Begin talking with your kids when they are very young and take time to listen to their ideas and problems.
- Support your partner. One of the best things a father can do for his children is to respect their mother. If you are married, keep your marriage strong and vital. If you aren’t married, it is still important to respect and support the mother of your children.
- Discipline with love. All children need guidance and discipline, not as punishment, but to set reasonable limits. Remind your children of the consequences of their actions and provide meaningful rewards for desirable behavior.
- Be a role model. Fathers are role models to their kids, whether they realize it or not. A girl who spends time with a loving father grows up knowing she deserves to be treated with respect. Fathers can teach sons what is important in life by demonstrating honesty, humility, and responsibility.
- Be a teacher. A father who teaches his children about right and wrong, and encourages them to do their best, will see his children make good choices.
- Eat together as a family. Sharing a meal together can be an important part of family life. It gives kids the chance to talk about what they are doing and is a good time for fathers to listen and give advice. Most importantly, it is a time for families to be together each day.
- Read to your children. Begin reading to your children when they are very young. Instilling your children with a love for reading is one of the best ways to ensure they will have a lifetime of personal and career growth.
- Show affection. Children need the security that comes from knowing they are wanted and loved by their family. Parents, especially fathers, need to feel comfortable and willing to hug their children. Showing affection every day is the best way to let your children know that you love them.
- Realize that a father’s job is never done. Even after children are grown and leave the home, they will still look to their fathers for wisdom and advice. Fathers continue to play an essential part in the lives of their children as they make decisions about schooling, new jobs, and as they grow and, perhaps, marry and
*Adapted from the National Fatherhood Initiative – http://www.fatherhood.org/10ways.asp
Our staff retreat was a huge success! We accomplished a lot and were very productive in making new goals for this up coming fiscal year.
We also threw a surprise baby shower for our wonderful Prevention Services Director, Stephenne. She was shocked! Congratulations!
Thanks to all of our sponsors and supporters for all their help in 2009 & 2010!