Salt & Light: A Guide to Loving Northwest Indiana

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are resolved via legal guardianships by the child’s relatives, or by adoption. CWT 8\_^acP]RT ^U 2^\\d]Xch 8]e^[eT\T]c The mission of IDCS is to help children thrive in safe, caring, supportive families and communities, and FCMs work hard to accomplish that goal. However, they cannot protect children without the assistance of the community itself, which plays an integral part in ensuring the safety and well-being of its most vulnerable citizens. There are many ways the average person can help in preventing abuse and neglect, as well as help those who are already in the child-welfare system in their own communities. Helping begins with understanding what chil-

dren need in order to have safe and U\Y[\YLK SP]LZ 9LZLHYJO OHZ PKLU[PÄLK Ä]L JVUKP[PVUZ [OH[ WYVTV[L JOPSK KLvelopment and are linked to a lower incidence of child abuse or neglect. They are: ‹ Nurturing and Attachment ‹ Knowledge of Parenting Skills and Youth Development ‹ Family Functioning and Resilience ‹ Social Connections ‹ Concrete Supports ;OLZL Ä]L MHJ[VYZ HWWS` [V HU` JOPSKZ life. Identifying the existence or status of each of these factors in a child’s life gives us insight as to what is needed to provide and ensure protection. As parents, grandparents, relatives, or

concerned citizens, we should hope to see each of these factors in the lives of every child we know. As we look closer at these protective factors, we can begin to understand what it means to be a healthy, happy child in a safe environment. =dacdaX]V P]S 0ccPRW\T]c Nurturing can be described as the actions provided by a parent or caregiver to provide support and nourishment to help a child develop. Attachment is the connection or affection that exists between two individuals. Some examples of nurturing and attachment include: ‹ Children and parents exchanging smiles, hugs, and kisses

Fast Facts on Child Abuse & Neglect in Lake County } } } } } } }

22,330 Hoosier children in 2009 experienced maltreatment 87.5% experienced neglect, 12.1% physical abuse, 17.7% sexual abuse and 2.2% medical neglect 13.8% of victims were under 1 year old, nationally the number is 12.6% Race of the victim: White 70.5% (44%), Black 17.2% (22.3%), Hispanic 6.8% (20.7%), Asian 0.2% (0.9%) (National %) 37.7% of perpetrators were mothers, 18.6% fathers, 18% both parents, 25.7% other In 2008 in Indiana, there were 46 child fatalities from neglect/abuse, 30 of them homicides, 13 accidents In 2008 in Lake County, there were 7 child fatalities from neglect/abuse

[US Dept. of Health and Human Services, Child Maltreatment 2009; Indiana Department of Child Services, Child Abuse and Neglect Annual Report of Child Fatalities, 2008.]

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