A MESSAGE FROM SHEILA: JANUARY-MARCH

"One Abused Child Is Too Many" is the billboard campaign we have used to promote mandated reporting of child abuse and neglect.  The Mississippi Law identifies:

In accordance with MS Code 43-21-353, any attorney, physician, dentist, intern, resident, nurse, psychologist, social worker, family protection worker, family protection specialist, child care giver, minister, law enforcement officer, public or private school employee or any other person having reasonable cause to suspect that a child is neglected or abused, shall make a verbal report immediately by telephone or otherwise.

We are all considered mandated reporters required by law to assist with protecting children in our state and within our communities. BUT….. isn’t this really the responsibility of ALL of us??

April is nationally recognized as Child Abuse Prevention Month.  SKWFS conducts several activities and events throughout the month, providing education and awareness for children, parents, and local professionals.  We hope you will make plans to participate in these activities.  More importantly, we encourage you to take this opportunity to talk with your children about safe touches, personal space, and the boundaries associated with keeping secrets.  The best prevention effort is providing opportunities for communication between parents and children.  As parents, their safety is our responsibility – we MUST limit their exposure and vulnerability to adults that we consider strangers and those we consider trustworthy.  Child abuse has no boundaries and statistics reveal that only 9% of child abuse cases are committed by a stranger.  Please educate yourself and your children.

Sally Kate Winters Family Services has had the privilege to work with many special children and families during the past few months.  Collectively, we have impacted the lives of 71 children within the four programs during the past three months.  Through various services, children have been positively impacted by caring adults in a safe environment.  Your involvement with our agency has made this possible.  I read a quote recently that resonated with me personally and with the work we do at SKWFS.  “Sometimes we are just the collateral damage in someone else’s war against themselves – Lauren Eden”.  So true for these 71 children and the countless others surviving in terrible environments. Thanks for your support!!

Sheila

Child Abuse Hotline

1.800.222.8000

reportabuse.mdcps.ms.gov