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Daily Newscasts

Ohio Aims to Prevent Child Abuse By Building Strong Families

April 7, 2008

Columbus, OH – There are more than 70,000 reports of child abuse and neglect in Ohio each year. April is "Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month," and Candace Valach, executive director of the Ohio Children's Trust Fund, says the state plans to bring those numbers down. Primarily, she explains, that means funding and staffing local, community-based programs that help build strong families.

"The value is on the early years, of really creating a healthy child-parent interaction, so the child can enter school successfully and healthfully."

Valach notes many communities are finding success with in-home support programs, in which trained workers visit and check in regularly with at-risk families.

"You have an in-home provider who gets to work with the family directly in their home setting. They can work on the parent-child interaction, as well as working with the family to identify other needs that they may have."

Valach says the Children's Trust Fund plans to spend $3.8 million this year on a combination of parenting classes, stabilizing families in crisis situations, support groups, and in-home support programs, offering education and mentoring to young parents in a variety of ways. In addition, a statewide conference on child abuse prevention takes place in Columbus, April 24 and 25.

Rob Ferrett/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - OH