MUSKINGUM COUNTY, Ohio- April is National Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month and the Muskingum County Adult and Child Protective Services is taking action.
According to Melissa Wood, the Human Resource Public Information Officer at Muskingum County Adult and Child Protective Services, they’ve received more than 1,700 reports of suspected child abuse and neglect and out of that came with 780 referrals for Muskingum County,
“So when we look at how that affects Muskingum County, we look at our children and we know that when we get calls of abuse or neglect and we’re going out and we’re investigating those, we’re not just investigation just what that particular thing was called in, we’re having a look at the whole entire situation to see if while we’re out there are there ways that we’re able to help the families,” Wood stated.
Through the departments investigation, they are able to provide additional assistance to families like school and community programs, extra-curricular activities and financial assistance.
Physical abuse like bruise marks is not the only signs of child abuse. Woods talked about how the community is a really big part of preventing child abuse and what other signs they can look for.
“I think when we look at neglect looking at children maybe who are coming to school hungry, maybe children who have been wearing the same clothes day in and day out, the children that might be hoarding food and taking food home in their book bag, reporting that maybe there’s no one there in the morning and maybe there’s no one there in the evening that’s helping to supervisor,” Wood said. “Indicators like that can indicate neglect.”
“It really does take a village to raise a child,” said Wood when asked about how the community can help.
She said if any of the signs are witnessed, please call in at 740-455-6710 to make a report and the report can be made anonymously if needed.
“So please call in and report what you’re seeing, report what you’re seeing. Maybe a student comes to you and shares something. Call in and report that, and even if it’s after our business hours of 8:00 to 4:30, you can still call that number and it’ll patch you through to an after hours line.”
Wood also thanked all the sponsors who have been supporting the cause year round and the County Courthouse for turning the building blue in honor of National Child Abuse and Neglect month. For more information, please visit the website at muskingumkids.org.