As a result of the community outcry following the tragic death of Serenity Wilson due to abuse, there has been much discussion about the prevention of child abuse and neglect as a community. Caseworkers with the Department of Child Services (DCS) and volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) get involved with families who are already in “the system”, meaning abuse or neglect has already been determined.
In Marshall County, there are no agencies that currently exist to provide “primary prevention” education and resources to the community but that is about to change that!
Prevent Child Abuse Indiana, a chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America, exists to provide support to counties that hold their own Prevent Child Abuse Indiana council…which is what Marshall County is in the process of doing.
There were 39 people at the initial meeting and Mary Armstrong Smith, from Prevent Child Abuse Indiana, said at the initial meeting, “Now is the time and we need all of you! Child abuse is 100% preventable.”
Volunteers are needed and you don’t need any special degree or work in any specific field. The goal is to educate the community as a whole about child abuse prevention and awareness. Prevent Child Abuse Indiana does NOT investigate abuse/neglect or provide specific services to those families already “in the system”. Their only role, and a very important one, is to provide education to the community.
The next meeting is Monday, October 26 from 6:30-8:00 pm room 203 of the County Building at 112 W. Jefferson St. in Plymouth. Marshall County Prosecutor, Nelson Chipman, has offered to pay the yearly fee to be chartered through Prevent Child Abuse Indiana out of their discretionary funds.