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April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and at Champions for a Drug Free Carroll County we see the unfortunate connection between substance abuse and child abuse. According to The National Council of Child Abuse and Family Violence, “substance abuse exists in 40 to 80 percent of families in which the children are victims of abuse.”
To bring awareness and to spread knowledge on this issue, Champions for a Drug Free Carroll County – in conjunction with other community partners – sponsors the annual Carrollton child abuse prevention event. This year’s big event will be held Friday, April 25. from 6:30-9 p.m. on the Carroll County Courthouse Square, and the theme is “Making Meaningful Connections.”
Co-sponsors include Family Ties, 21st Century Lighthouse and Youth Services. As community partners, we work very hard on this event to make sure it is a fun and educational experience for Carroll County citizens. The event will include free food, inflatables, Family Time Entertainment magic show, guest speaker Leigh Ann Roberts, door prizes and free resources on child abuse and alcohol/substance abuse, as well as various community vendors.
Along with this event, Champions also will host a “Panther Tot” event from 5:30-7 p.m. April 10, at Kathryn Winn Primary. This event is geared toward preschool-age children up to kindergarten, but is open to older children as well. There will be free food, fun, games and activities for the entire family. Each family that attends will receive a free book, “It’s Spring.” This book will correlate with different booths targeting the senses that are used to see, hear, taste and feel springtime. Champions is using this event to connect with the 2014 Child Abuse Prevention theme as mentioned above, “Making Meaningful Connections.” Carroll County Early Childhood Council co-sponsors this event.
To further awareness, Champions for a Drug Free Carroll County and fellow sponsors are selling “Pinwheels for Prevention” T-shirts now through the day of the child abuse awareness event. They are only $10 and all proceeds will go toward the 2015 Child Abuse event. The story behind the pinwheels for prevention slogan correlates with the decorative pinwheels you may see throughout the county soon. Each pinwheel will represent the number of child abuse assessments and investigations in Carroll County last year.
There were a total of 258 reports investigated alleging abuse, neglect or dependency.
As you can see, many of us are doing our part in preventing and bringing awareness to child abuse and the dangers that correlate from substance abuse as well. We can’t do it alone, we need to stand strong as a community and truly make a difference in a child’s life.
“Children whose parents abuse alcohol and other drugs are three times more likely to be abused and more than four times more likely to be neglected than children from non-abusing families,” The National Council of Child Abuse and Family Violence reports. Parents’ abuse of alcohol and other drugs can lead to a cycle of addiction, which is reflected by high rates of alcoholism and other substance abuse among children of addicts. Substance abuse among youth leads to a domino effect of problems in school, involvement in juvenile justice, teen pregnancy, and mental and emotional turmoil. By focusing on prevention programs for youth, the cycle can be broken; together we can truly make a difference.
We hope to see you at the annual child abuse prevention event, 6:30-9 p.m., on April 25, on the Carroll County Courthouse Square. It will be a great family event that you don’t want to miss! Also, participate in “Blue Sunday” on April 27 and say a little prayer or wear your favorite shade of blue! Also, make sure you attend our Panther Tot event as well on April 10, at Kathryn Winn Primary from 5:30-7 p.m.
If you would like to purchase a shirt to wear to either event, volunteer, become a vendor or have any questions, please call Champions at (502) 525-3571.
Hayley Franklin is coordinator of Champions for a Drug Free Carroll County.