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PREVENT CHILD ABUSE | Friday, April 20, 2012 Students in Shari Prickett’s fourth grade class at Broadway Elementary School in Denison hold pinwheels they were given for a ceremony at the Crawford County Courthouse on April 2 proclaiming April as Child Abuse Prevention Month. Pinwheels are used as a symbol to spread the word about child abuse prevention. The pinwheel represents childhood – a time that should be filled with joy, nurturing and playfulness. Photo by Gordon Wolf

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CRAWFORD COUNTY CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION COUNCIL “PROTECTING CHILDREN IS EVERYONE’S BUSINESS!” Members of the Crawford County Child Abuse Prevention Council received a donation from Wireless World in January. Pictured above are council members with Wireless World employees. Front, from left are: John Sondag, West Iowa Community Mental Health Director; Lorraine Houston and Tefy Bakos from Wireless World; and Annette Koster, BVCS Early Childhood Iowa. In back are: Alayna Clancy, Decat NCCP; Mike Pardun, Denison Community School Superintendent; Sonni Johnson from Wireless World; Mark Segebart, Crawford County Supervisor; Retta Mitchell, Daycare & Preschool Home Consultant; and Laura Beeck, Crawford County Home Health, Hospice & Public Health. The organizations are part of the Crawford County Child Abuse Prevention Council.

Crawford County cares about kids and we hope this informational piece helps educate and inform people on the prevention of child abuse and neglect!

Simple ways to help prevent child abuse include: • Be a nurturing parent/adult in children’s lives • Get to know your neighbors • Get involved in a local school • Be an active community member • Learn how your community supports children & families • If you see a child being abused in public, do what you can to help!



APRIL 20, 2012

Crawford County Child Abuse Prevention Council works to prevent abuse in Crawford County Every year April is designated as Child Abuse Prevention month. The solution to ending child abuse is up to all of us. Everyone in Crawford County can and should do all they can to prevent child abuse, because protecting children is everyone’s business. The Crawford County Child Abuse Prevention Council needs your help. There were 126 accepted reports for abuse and neglect in Crawford County in 2011, which was up 36 from the previous year. Forty-eight of these cases were confirmed or founded cases of abuse or neglect (which is up 15 from 2010) with 70 children abused (which is up 14 from 2010). There were 106 confirmed or founded cases of denial of critical care or neglect, 11 cases of physical abuse, one case of illegal drugs present in a child’s system, and five cases of sexual abuse. These add up to 123 confirmed times children were abused in 2011 in Crawford County. The solution to ending child abuse is up to all of us. Communities statewide are recognizing that healthy childhood experiences are not just good for children, but good for their communities as well. The actions we take to promote healthy child development are the very actions that help to prevent child abuse and neglect, like parent-child interaction, reading and constructive play. At a time when we all care about the economy, it just makes “cents” to spend more time learning how stable, nurturing relationships influence a child’s developing brain and provide a foundation for all future development. Simple ways to help prevent child abuse include being a nurturing parent/adult in children’s lives, getting to know your neighbors, getting involved in a local school,

learning how your community supports children and families, and being an active community member. And if you see a child being abused in public do what you can to help. Speak to children with love and respect. Make sure children know they are loved and special. Help them feel secure. Praise the good and communicate confidence and pride in children. Build positive relationships with all children in your life, including your own. Take a class on positive parenting or child development. Seek support and accept help if you are stressed or isolated. People feel better, safer and less isolated, and problems seem less overwhelming, if support is nearby. Help a family under stress. Offer to baby sit, help with chores or errands, or suggest community resources that might help. Š Start a neighborhood babysitting co-op to give families respite care. Š Join the parent-teacher organizations; attend school events, youth activities. Š Mentor a child. Š Promote programs at school that support families. Š Mentor parents in programs that match experienced, stable parents with parents at risk. Š Provide friendship, guidance and support to parents and children who need help. Š Join your local child abuse prevention council. Š Contact elected officials and ask them to fund programs that support children and families. If you see a child being abused in public: Š Start a conversation with the adult. Offer sympathy. Š Talk to the child. Š Praise the parent or child.

Š Offer assistance if the child is in danger. Š Avoid negative looks or comments. The Crawford County Child Abuse Prevention Council was formed in 2004 and is comprised of community members and service providers from various agencies including Crawford County Board of Supervisors, Crawford County Board of Health, Crawford County Home Health, Hospice & Public Health, West Iowa Community Mental Health Center, Denison Community Schools, Domestic/Sexual Assault Outreach Center, Juvenile Court, Child Care Resource & Referral, Lutheran Services in Iowa, Iowa State University Extension, Head Start, Crawford County Decategorization/Community Partners for Protecting Children, and Early Childhood Iowa. The Pinwheels for Prevention campaign is Iowa’s way of helping to spread the word that child abuse can be prevented. The pinwheel represents childhood – a time that should be filled with joy, nurturing and playfulness. Prevent Child Abuse Iowa and the Crawford County Child Abuse Prevention Council believe that every child deserves a happy childhood - a childhood that includes a loving and nurturing home with opportunities to learn, grow, and develop. Most parents want that for their children. But parenting can be a tough job. The stress of parenting can be overwhelming and sometimes lead to frustration, anger, and abuse. To report possible abuse or neglect of a child, please call 800-362-2178. If you would like more information about the Crawford County Child Abuse Prevention Council, please contact Laura Beeck at Crawford County Home Health, Hospice & Public Health at 712-263-3303 or any of the other organizations mentioned above.

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APRIL 20, 2012


Dr AlTo says, "Healthy Choices Make Healthy Kids!" Dr AlTo's mission is to help reduce the use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco through public education and awareness initiatives. Situations involving child abuse and domestic violence often have drug and alcohol abuse associated with it. In 2008, 41 percent of the founded cases for "denial of critical care to a child" involved the use of methamphetamines in Crawford County. Dr AlTo Coalition provides information at health fairs, parent teacher conferences and other community events in efforts to help with public education and awareness regarding drug, alcohol, tobacco use and abuse, as well as violence and gangs. Grant dollars have been used to obtain videos/DVD's on prevention and abuse topics that can be checked out by schools, organizations or individuals. Dr AlTo participates at Crawford County Ag Days for all seventh graders in Crawford County; the students come to the Crawford County Fairgrounds and receive education sponsored by Farm Bureau and ISU Extension. Dr AlTo also works with Denison students during Freshman Orientation day. Grants have been obtained for educational speakers for both the community and for students in schools throughout Crawford County, to sponsor a health fair and to sponsor a middle school dance and education night. These three grants were funded through the Crawford County Decategorization/Community Partners for Protecting Children (CPPC) and most recently the Denison Rotary. On April 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Dr

AlTo and Crawford County Child Abuse Prevention Council are sponsoring a "Kids Fest" which will include a health fair and associated activities focusing on kids and families. This will be a joint celebration with Children’s Imagination Station for its 10-year anniversary. Funding for this event is through grants from Decategorization/Community Partners for Protecting Children, as well as, community business and organization donations. This event will take place at and around Children’s Imagination Station in Denison which is located one block east of Washington Park at 1826 Third Avenue South. Come join the fun! Also volunteers are needed to assist with this event. Please call Laura at Public Health at 712-2633303 or Theresa at Children’s Imagination Station at 712-263-7100 if you would like to help. Dr AlTo's goal is to coordinate and collaborate with community partners and schools to educate the youth in Crawford County. Dr AlTo hopes to bring people and resources together to better serve the community. Helping to create awareness of the problems associated with the use and/or abuse of drugs, alcohol, tobacco, as well as issues leading to child abuse and/or domestic violence can have the power to help our youth lead a healthier, safer and more productive life. For more information on using any of the resources available or to become a member of Dr AlTo Coalition, call Crawford County Home Health, Hospice & Public Health at 712-263-3303, or stop by the office at 105 North Main Street in Denison.


2,000 days You may be asking yourself what can happen in 2,000 days. The answer is simple, between birth and the first day of kindergarten there are approximately 2,000 days. The first 2,000 days of a child’s life can have a PROFOUND and LIFELONG impact on physical and emotional wellbeing, readiness to learn and succeed, and ability to become a productive citizen. Early Childhood Iowa invest in the lives of children and families.Every community in Iowa is served by an Early Childhood Iowa Area. BVCS Early Childhood Iowa encumbers the counties of Buena Vista, Crawford and Sac. The Iowa Legislature identified five result areas on which communities are to focus. They include: Healthy Children, Children Ready to Succeed in School, Safe and Nurturing Families, and Secure and Nurturing Child Care Environments for children zero through five years of age. Early Childhood Iowa legislation established two specific programs and provided funding to encourage communities to “work together” to assist families with children ages 0-5 - School Ready and Early Childhood. School Ready funds provided to the area offer comprehensive services including: program director for coordination of services, Family STEPS in-home parent education visitation program, preschool scholarships for parental support for children to attend preschool, Oral Health Screenings program for fluoride varnishes to preschool age children, and a professional development to educate early childhood educators. Early Childhood funds enhance the quality and capacities of

child care, including a child care home consultant and child care nurse consultant to provide support and technical assistance to early childcare environments in the areas of regulation, developmentally appropriate and healthy environments. A grant is available to assist early childhood environment meet health and safety standards. If all health and safety standards are met grants may be used for other areas for improvement. Collaborative guidance for our Early Childhood Area is provided by a threecounty board and three advisory councils. The structure provides communication and cooperation not only for our direct early childhood activities, but also for additional collaboration between participating community partners. The three-county board is comprised of 11 voting members and two ex-officio representatives. These members are comprised of representatives from a wide variety of citizens and other local providers of services to families and children in the three-county area. The board is currently recruiting two citizens from Crawford County to serve. Contact Annette Koster at 712-662-3880 if you are interested in serving on the three-county board to help the young children in the BVCS Early Childhood Iowa area. Community Early Childhood Iowa is resolutely engaged in efforts to unite agencies, organizations, business, and community partners to speak one message all children, beginning at birth, will be healthy and successful. Local Early Childhood Iowa areas choose programs to assist children/families with children in the first 2,000 days.

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Child Care Nurse Consultant works with child care providers

Pictured are the two homes made from the slips of the many families that pledged in their homes the last week of March. Photo submitted

Child care providers are often the first to recognize signs of abuse or neglect. Even more so, they are charged with working with families who are in need of resources so that they can provide food, shelter and health care for their children. Most of the child abuse cases in Iowa are due to denial of critical care, where the caregiver or parent fails to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter or health care to a child. My name is Lori Hoch, RN, Child Care Nurse Con-

sultant for Crawford County. I work with child care providers by educating them on available community resources so families can afford care for their children and resources to provide family support. I also provide screening services to help identify children in need of care and link them to providers who can care for them. This helps prevent neglect and abuse from happening in the first place. I work with child care providers in many ways to address child abuse or neglect, such as offering

Mandatory Child Abuse Reporter Training, providing information and education on SIDS prevention and the Period of Purple Crying, and helping providers recognize developmental delays that may or may not be caused by neglect. It takes everyone working together to ensure children are raised in safe, nurturing environments. Helping child care providers create just such an atmosphere helps prevent child abuse and gives children the opportunity they need to succeed.

Purple Hands Pledge in eighth year at Denison Child Abuse Prevention elementary schools Denison Elementary and Broadway Schools are in their eighth year of using the Purple Hands Pledge in the schools and homes. This year a pledge sheet was sent home, and parents discussed the bulleted ideas (listed below) during the month of March. New banners were made for the schools as daily reminders of the promise given to each other. Each grade level also developed its own “We Believe” statement about the Purple Hands Pledge. Whatever level, at home, at school or daily interactions with each other, the Purple Hands Pledge has turned into a common language. The Purple Hands Pledge is “I Will Not Use My Hands Or My Words For Hurting Myself Or Others.” You and your family are invited to join hands and hearts with hundreds of thousands of children and adults around the world who have taken the Purple Hands Pledge. Š Discuss with your family

Month a great opportunity to educate the community

Displays featuring the Purple Hands Pledge can be found through Denison Elementary schools.

the choices that every member makes when they become angry or upset. Everyone gets angry. Everyone fights. Š Anger is a feeling. Abuse and violence is always a choice. Š Discuss what you will not do with your hands and words when you are angry. Š Promise not to call each other names, put each other down, hit, slap, kick,

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or spit. Š Never touch anyone when you are angry. Š By taking the Purple Hands Pledge and tracing your hand means you are drawing the line to stop and think before hurting yourself or others. Approximately 1,000 Denison Elementary and Broadway students and staff traced their hands, pledging to stop and think, to make the new banners.

“April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and a great opportunity to educate the community on Community Partnerships for Protecting Children (CPPC),” said Alayna Clancy CPPC Coordinator. CPPC is not a program; rather, it is a way of working with families that help services to be more inviting, needs-based, accessible and relevant. It is a partnership of public and private agencies, systems, community members, and professionals who work together to prevent maltreatment before it occurs; respond quickly and effectively when it does occur; and reduce the re-occurrence of child maltreatment, through tailored family interventions. The CPPC approach aims to keep children safe from abuse and neglect and to support families. This ap-

proach recognizes that keeping children safe is everybody's business and that community members must be offered opportunities to help vulnerable families and shape the services and supports provided. In Crawford County, Community Partnerships have brought together parents, youth, social service professionals, faith ministries, local business, schools and caring neighbors to help design, govern and participate in programs that seek to create a continuum of care and support for children, youth and parents in their neighborhoods. Neighborhood Network Grants have been funded in Crawford County since 2007. These local grants promote the vision of strong families, safe children and concerned, caring neighbors, by funding

projects in neighborhoods to improve safety and develop more child and family-friendly environments. These projects bring neighbors together to make lasting improvements to the community. CPPC gives community members the opportunity to get involved in helping families in need, and in shaping the types of services and supports needed by these families, Clancy wants to invite all community members to get involved in CPPC and Child Abuse Prevention. For more information on CPPC, Neighborhood Networking Grant opportunities or child abuse prevention, please contact Community Partnerships for Protecting Children and Crawford/Sac Decategorization Project Coordinator Alayna Clancy at (712) 792-4391 ext. 239.

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Stork’s Nest Baby Boutique educates new mothers The Stork’s Nest Baby Boutique is an incentive program for pregnant women and their children through the age of one. The Boutique was opened because of a need for more prenatal care and well-baby checkups as noted through Crawford County’s need assessment. The program is funded through grants and donations of time and store items. The Boutique is a program that is designed to support and promote healthy births, happy babies and strong families in Crawford County. The program also encourages medical and dental care, as well as educational opportunities that enhance parenting. The participants earn points by going to the doctor and getting the much needed prenatal care as well as examinations and immunizations for their baby. With the points earned the participants can “purchase” new baby items that are needed on a daily basis such as cribs, car seats, diapers, wipes and much more. Part of the experience is attending the educational opportunities that are available each month during store hours. The topics covered during these educa-

Pictured is a donation made to Stork’s Nest Baby Boutique. Donations are needed to support the continuation of this community service program. Photo submitted tional times include CPR, child abuse warning signs and how to prevent it, SIDS information, the importance of literacy, fire safety, family activities and discipline in a positive way. These classes give the participants the knowledge and skills needed to be a better parent. The store and class are offered once a month and is usually on the fourth Monday of the month. The store is open from 3 to 6 p.m., and the educational class is offered from 4 to 5:30 p.m. An interpreter is utilized for those who are not proficient in English. The information the participants receive include things as simple as watching staff interact with their

children to obtaining information during the educational classes to help decrease child abuse in the population that the Boutique serves. The Boutique does not turn away anyone based on race, income, sex or ethnic background. There is good interaction between the participants. They get to know each other and build relationships with people in the same situation as themselves and are able to develop their own support network. The Boutique connects participants to various services around the area to help with issues or concerns that their family may be experiencing. Baby Boutique is staffed by nurses, a special

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education AEA teacher, interpreters and volunteers who help in the classroom and in the store. Volunteers are always needed to assist with daycare. Due to lack of grant funding the program has had to cut services. In the past, when a woman becomes pregnant and until that child turned two the family could participate in the program but now participation can only occur until the child turns one year old. Donations are needed as well to support the continuation of this community service program. Area churches such as the United Methodist Church donate the use of their facility for the Baby Boutique program and St. Rose of Lima donates items to the program yearly at Christmas. The hospital auxiliary donates clothing to the program monthly. The South West Latino Association of Iowa and the Latino community recently had a fundraiser and made a gracious donation as well. Please call Crawford County Home Health, Hospice & Public Health at 712263-3303 for any questions related to Baby Boutique or to volunteer to assist with this community service.

APRIL 20, 2012

Family STEPS teaches parenting skills Family STEPS (Support To Experience Parenting Success) is a family home visitation program offered in Crawford County for families expecting a child, or with a child/children ages 0-3 and high risk children who are 4 to 5 years old. The Family STEPS program is funded through Early Childhood Iowa. The board for this program was founded in 1998, with the belief that local communities and state government could work together to improve the well being of Iowa’s youngest children, ages 0-5 years. The state level vision for all Early Childhood Iowa (which was previously called Community Empowerment) is “Every child, beginning at birth, will be healthy and successful.” Family STEPS offers home visits to parents to help provide a healthy start in life. The family support worker helps give the families-parent education, encouragement and the resources for parenting their child/children. What can Family STEPS assist you with? Š Preparing for your baby Š Prenatal support Š Caring for your baby’s needs Š Caring for yourself Š What to expect as your baby grows Š Building parenting skills Š Confidence as a parent Š Referrals to community resources The Family STEPS program is a free service to any family that meets the appropriate criteria. Currently there are two family support workers in Crawford County offering services to a total of 47 families. For more information please contact Crawford County Home Health, Hospice & Public Health office at 712-263-3303. We believe that a child’s first and best teacher is his or her parents.

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Domestic violence correlation with child abuse As with any social issue, child abuse is a problem for the entire community. Achieving the goals of preventing child abuse in our community is necessary and a continue work in progress. The abuse and neglect of children has been documented for more than 2,000 years. Partnerships within our communities, parents, neighbors and grassroots community groups, in addition to public agencies and non-profit organizations, create community ownership, responsibility and involvement. Through partnerships, citizens define a community’s needs, and services can be tailored to the particular needs and strengths of individual communities. National studies continue to indicate that only about one-third of maltreated children are reported to child protection agencies. Significant numbers of victims remain unidentified without protection and treatment. It is important that a variety of community members consider or are able to recognize the possibility of child abuse. It is not only mandatory reporters that need to make the initial notification but any concerned citizen. One-fourth of the investigations and assessments (25 percent) confirmed child abuse. There were an estimated 794,000 victims of child abuse nationwide. The rate of victimization was 10.3 per 1,000 children. The highest victimization rates were for the birth to age 1 group (21.7 per 1,000 children). For 75 percent of all victims there was no prior history of victimization . The realization is that many victims are not at an age that they can express their experience. The U.S. Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect found domestic violence to be the single major precursor to child abuse and neglect fatalities in the United States. Child abuse is 15 times more likely to occur in homes where adult domestic violence is present. According to “The Effective Intervention in Domestic Violence & Child Maltreatment Cases: Guide for Policy and Practice,” published by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges in 1999, “domestic vio-

lence perpetrators do not victimize only adults. Recent reviews of more than two decades of studies have revealed that in families where women are abused, many of their children also are maltreated.” According to the Iowa Attorney General’s Office, Crime Victim Assistance Division, from January 1995 through April 2010, 209 Iowans have been killed in domestic abuse homicides. During that period: Š 138 women were killed by their spouse, former spouse, boyfriend, or intimate partner Š 24 men were killed by their partners Š 46 bystanders were killed, including 25 children Š 168 minor children survived the murder of their mother or father Š 67 children were present at the scene of a parent’s murder Although many adults believe they have protected their child from exposure to domestic violence, 80 percent to 90 percent of children in those homes can give detailed descriptions of the violence experienced in their families. (Doyne, S. Bowermasyer, J. & Meloy, R. (1999). “Custody Disputes Involving Domestic Violence: Making Children’s Needs a Priority,” Juvenile & Family Court Journal, 50, (2)). The U.S. Advisory Board on Child Abuse suggests that domestic violence may be the single major precursor to child fatalities in this country. Varying by samples selected and types of data gathered, the majority of these studies have found that a substantial proportion, ranging from 30 to 60 percent, of battered mothers’ children also are maltreated. Children who are abused physically or sexually or witness violence tend to exhibit more developmental, cognitive, emotional and social behavior problems, including depression and increased aggression, than other children. Due to the data stated above it is important that agencies provide services to victims of domestic violence and recognize and include children in their services. Please contact the Domestic Sexual Assault Outreach Center at 888-356-2006 for any questions or concerns related to domestic violence. A Spanish speaking bilingual counselor in Crawford County that can be accessed through the above number as well.

Students in a room at Children’s Imagination Station work on a project. Photo submitted

Children’s Imagination Station celebrating 10th anniversary Children’s Imagination Station is a non-profit, state licensed child care development center operating five days a week in the community of Denison. The purpose of Children’s Imagination Station is to provide a quality early childhood experience for children within a nurturing environment. The mission of Children’s Imagination Station Daycare and Preschool is to provide quality care and education for our community’s greatest resource - the children - during their first years of life, in a way that is responsive, staff respecting, developmentally appropriate and researched based. Children's Imagination Station Daycare cares for children four weeks through 11 years of age and offers a morning and afternoon preschool program. Children’s Imagination Station is celebrating their 10 year anniversary this spring. A celebration will take place on Saturday, April 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This will be a joint celebration with the Drug Alcohol & Tobacco Coalition (Dr AlTo) and the Crawford County Child Abuse Prevention Council. The "Kids Fest" will include a health fair and associated activities focusing on kids and families. Come join the fun! Also, volunteers are needed to assist with this event. For any question regarding Children’s Imagination Station or the “Kidsfest” Celebration please call 712-263-7100.

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We Put SMILES On People’s Faces!

Crawford County Home Health, Hospice & Public Health

Long Name . . . Long List of Professionals Who Can Assist You With Your Home Health, Hospice & Public Health Needs It All Adds Up To = Important Results

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Our Services Include: • Home Health • Hospice • Home Health Aide • Homemaker • HCBS Waivers Provider • Family Planning • Breast & Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program and Wise Woman • Immunizations

• Physical/Occupational/Speech Therapies • Communicable Disease Follow-up • Community Equipment Loan Program • Emergency Preparedness Activities • Other Health Promotion Activities • Spanish Interpreters on Staff

• Dental Hygienist • One Time Mom & Baby Visits • Family STEPS Home Visitation • Child Health • Lead Screening • Child Care Nurse Consultant • hawk-i Insurance Outreach • Free Blood Pressure Clinics • Maternal Health Checks • Flu Vaccinations

Help Put A Smile On The Face Of A Child You Know Or Love During Child Abuse Awareness Month

hawk-i (Healthy and Well Kids in Iowa) Free or low-cost health care coverage for kids.

* Eligibility will not be affected by race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex, except where it is required by law.

For more information call 1-800-257-8563 or 712-263-3303

Prevent Child Abuse 2012  

Special Section focusing on preventing child abuse in and around Crawford County, Iowa, in recognition of Child Abuse Prevention Month.

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