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Conference: “Making Children Idaho’s Priority”

March 9, 2011

BOISE, Idaho - Research shows what works in preventing child abuse and neglect, but there's a challenge when it comes to getting the word out and getting communities on board with the strategies.

On March 15 and 16, experts and volunteers will gather in Boise for the "Strengthening Families Training Institute." They will brainstorm ways to make children Idaho's "highest priority," according to Ben Tanzer, executive director of Prevent Child Abuse America, who will be on hand to share insights.

"Create a movement for children and families, and a movement that not only enhances healthy child development; to really engage people in a dialogue on how we prevent child abuse and neglect before it ever starts."

Tanzer says preventing child abuse and neglect is in everyone's best interest because it is tied to the larger values Idahoans treasure.

"We want to live in a certain kind of Idaho that is prosperous, that is healthy. Here are the things we are going to do for children and families, because we know that when we don't prevent child abuse and neglect, all of those other things get undermined."

Details about the conference can be found at www.idahochildrenstrustfund.idaho.gov.

Tanzer says supporting families for optimum healthy child development is one of the protective factors in preventing abuse. That support can come from an array of resources, including schools, churches, voluntary home visiting services, universities, social service agencies, civic groups and even neighborhood associations. The key, he says, is coordinating and inspiring more action to help families.

Deb Courson, Public News Service - ID