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PNS Daily Newscast - September 24 


The ground rules seem to have been set concerning the sexual assault allegations against nominee Brett Kavenaugh. Also on the Monday rundown: we will take you to a state where more than 60 thousand kids are chronically absent; plus the rural digital divide a two-fold problem for Kentucky.

Daily Newscasts

Child Abuse Prevention Month: Concerns about ND Kids' Safety

April 20, 2011

BISMARCK, N.D. - April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and those on the front lines fighting the problem in North Dakota are concerned about child safety in light of recent budget cuts.

Experts predicted the economic downturn would prompt an increase in child-abuse cases, and Tim Hathaway, executive director of Prevent Child Abuse North Dakota, says certain types of case loads have gone up. The most recent Kids Count report, issued in 2009, found about 7,000 suspected cases of abuse or neglect in North Dakota. Nationwide, more than 12,000 children died from abuse and neglect from 2001 to 2008.

At the same time, Hathaway notes, federal funding is being cut - a combination that has him concerned for North Dakota children.

"If you look what's happening in terms of levels of stress as bills are piling up for families, as they are struggling more and more, then stress goes up - and they begin to abuse or neglect kids."

Miriam Rollin, director of the national organization Fight Crime, Invest in Kids, says some states will be able to tap $1.5 billion in federal money which has been set aside to fund Home Visiting Programs in the next five years. There's a catch, though: States have to keep their own funding at current levels in order to get the federal money.

"We know it works. We know it saves more money than it costs down the road. It's been shown to have these amazing results of cutting child abuse substantially, cutting later delinquency substantially."

In Home Visiting Programs, nurses and social workers keep in contact with poor and at-risk families to offer support and skills to prevent abuse and neglect. The North Dakota Legislature is debating whether to accept the federal money as part of health-care reform.

Dick Layman, Public News Service - ND