Children who are raised in safe, nurturing environments are more likely to grow into responsible, productive citizens. However, some families may be experiencing high levels of stress, a sense of isolation and a lack of resources that make caring for their children difficult.
As a community, it is our responsibility to ensure all families receive the support and resources they need, before stress reaches the point of child abuse. Studies show that investing in parental support and education is far less expensive and more effective than trying to treat effects of abuse after it occurs.
In Marshall County, Child Abuse Prevention Services provides a variety of prevention services to families with young children. Last year, 258 families were enrolled in our Building Healthy Family programs, while 236 families participated in the Stork's Nest program. We also provided sexual abuse prevention education to almost 3,000 children in our county through our Care for Kids program. In addition, our Crisis Child Care program provided a safe environment for 154 children whose families were in crisis or emergency situations. All these programs are important to our community and its well-being.
When filing your state income taxes this season, you can support prevention programs through Iowa's Child Abuse Prevention Check Off. Under "contributions," choose to donate a portion of your tax return or give an additional amount on top of what you owe to Child Abuse Prevention. All of the money collected will go toward making Iowa's families stronger and our children safer. For more information, visit checkoffchildabuseiowa.org.