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New Ideas for Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention in Idaho

March 8, 2010

BOISE, Idaho - Child abuse and neglect are frightening topics for many people. Nationwide campaigns about prevention have long focused on images of children in peril, but the president and CEO of Prevent Child Abuse America, Jim Hmurovich, says it turns out that was the wrong approach for successfully protecting children. He's speaking at Idaho's upcoming 2010 Strengthening Families Training Institute, sponsored by the Idaho Children's Trust Fund, about where that kind of outreach went wrong, and how we can do better.

"The public just literally became overwhelmed with the idea, 'I don't know what to do - I can't deal with this'. And that's not what we were looking for."

He says campaigns to protect children now focus on the issue as a public health topic, one that is backed by research and programs proven to keep children safe.

Hmurovich says healthy neighborhoods and communities where parents can network and have social support are examples of the new prevention messaging.

"Child abuse and neglect is, in fact, preventable. And we also know that it takes everyone in Idaho to make sure that children are safe in their homes, in their communities, in their state, and in our nation."

Idahoans witnessed some horrific abuse cases this past year, and hundreds of people got involved and wanted to know more about what they could do to prevent abuse. Hmurovich calls that a healthy response that is a credit to children's future safety.

The 2010 Strengthening Families Training Institute is March 16-17, Red Lion Downtowner, Boise.

Deb Courson, Public News Service - ID