April 11th, 2012 was ‘Wear Blue to Work’ day on behalf of National Child Abuse Prevention Month. The blue color has become a symbol of child abuse prevention, much as pink is associated with breast cancer awareness. Franklin County Children Services (FCCS) states that ‘prevention depends on finding solutions to the problems that cause child abuse. With the help of local and statewide agencies and organizations, FCCS prevents child abuse through education, information, help for parents under stress, and through successful intervention programs.’
The Pomegranate team gathered in the courtyard for a photo to show their support of the initiative. Pomegranate employs therapists-LPC/LPCC/LISW/LISW-S, youth leaders, CPST (community psychiatric support treatment), nurses-CNP, RN, LPN, psychiatrists, direct care staff, chef & kitchen staff, house-keeping & facilities, compliance and administrative- all dedicated to helping teens recover from mental and behavioral illness. (The photo doesn’t represent all of the team, as this is a 24-7 facility.)
Not all children enjoy a safe and nurturing home environment with loving adults to support and encourage them. ‘Franklin County Children Services (FCCS) receives thousands of reports of child abuse each year and served more than 29,000 children and their families last year.’
The Ohio Revised Code has several working definitions for what constitutes abuse, neglect, dependent, or subject to sexual offense. You can read about it in the document ‘Guidelines: What You Need to Know About Child Abuse and Neglect’ at: http://www.franklincountyohio.gov/children_services/assets/pdf/brochures/reporting-abuse.pdf.
There are signs that help one to recognize abuse or neglect in the child, parent, and the relationship between them. The report addresses types of child maltreatment such as ‘physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse.’
Out of 29,287 children served last year, 3,992 were served in placement. There were 7,857 abuse investigations and 4,284 neglect investigations; 16.4% were substantiated according to FCCS statistics. ‘The residential population we serve at Pomegranate has had a high rate of abuse which is more likely to result in mental and behavioral health disorders through no fault of the child’, says Pomegranate Clinical Director, Demetra Taylor. ‘Clearly, the best solution is to prevent abuse in the first place. It’s important for us to support an important initiative like ‘Wear Blue to Work’ to bring attention to the possibility of hope and healing.’
Visit: www.franklincountyohio.gov/children_services for more information.
[Photo credit: Pomegranate Health Systems first shift and admin team on FCCS 2012 Wear Blue to Prevent Child Abuse Day]