What Do We Want For Our Children?

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Apr 1st, 15
What Do We Want For Our Children?
Have you ever taken time to ask yourself “what do we want for our children?” I believe everyone who answers would say we want our Commonwealth to provide an equal playing field for all our children; we want all children to have great childhoods, to succeed in school, and to grow into healthy and productive citizens....

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:  Jill Seyfred – 859.225.8879

 

What Do We Want For Our Children?  

Have you ever taken time to ask yourself “what do we want for our children?” I believe everyone who answers would say we want our Commonwealth to provide an equal playing field for all our children; we want all children to have great childhoods, to succeed in school, and to grow into healthy and productive citizens. 

Yet somehow, this doesn't always seem to be reflected in either our attitudes, or actions, toward our children. There are numbers to support that statement too. In Kentucky, according to KIDS COUNT Data, almost 12% of our school-aged children experienced chronic absenteeism in 2011-2012; 70,000 children were living with neither of their parents in 2013; income issues (76.3%), mental health (40.9%) and substance abuse (60.4%) were factors most often cited in 2012 as part of abuse/neglect investigations; and 45.1 out of every 1,000 children were booked into a secure juvenile detention facility in 2001-2013.

If we really want to do better for children, we can't just rely on the government. We have to recognize we all play a role in the lives of children and families, and each of us has both the ability to promote the kind of actions and factors that help families thrive, while reducing the risk factors for child abuse and neglect. 

What we can do is start by working to ensure children are born healthy and raised in stable and nurturing environments. Services that help reduce incidences of birth complications like low birth weight, which can lead to lifelong health problems like diabetes and heart disease, are an example of the ways we can help the first part. For the second, there are individual actions we can take every day, as parents or otherwise, that can help raise up families and consequently, our communities.

Take coaching a sports team, for example. After-school programs like sports or academic clubs provide low cost opportunities for children to learn and grow without forcing parents to leave work early. If you're more of the social type, you could organize a block party in the summer for a neighborhood, which helps create connections between neighbors and forms the kind of community that reduces social isolation and provides a stable environment for families.

If you're a business owner, instituting family-friendly policies can be good for both your bottom line and the families of your employees. For example, studies have shown that flexible scheduling for employees can help reduce stress, which is a risk factor for child maltreatment, and also improve their happiness, which is good for productivity.

These are a few examples of the ways we can Commit To Prevent. Working to create a better state for our children and families isn’t complicated, but it is hard. That’s why it takes all of us. Please log on to www.pcaky.org or call 1-800-CHILDREN/ or 859-225-8879 to find out how you can help.

We should be – and I know we can be – a state that develops the leaders of tomorrow by supporting our children of today.

 

 

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Jill Seyfred is Executive Director of Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky, a statewide child abuse prevention organization.  Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky may be contacted at 1-800-CHILDREN, (859)225-8879 or log on to www.pcaky.org .  The “Commit to Prevent” campaign needs you!



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