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Des Runyan and Kempe Center help to reduce child abuse in Colorado by half

Thursday, February 14, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Niki Bornes

Colorado's plan to reform the child- welfare system and significantly reduce child abuse and neglect includes sending social workers and nurses into the homes of at-risk families and providing a network of help — ranging from teaching parents about safety hazards to helping them find jobs.

One of the programs, SafeCare, is for families who have been reported to child protective services and have children 5 years old or younger, the age group that accounts for 75 percent of abuse and neglect cases.

The Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect, which is partnering with the state to set up SafeCare, has a goal of reducing child abuse and neglect in Colorado by half within seven years.

Colorado also plans to expand a program for young, first-time mothers who have never been accused of abuse. The Nurse-Family Partnership sends nurses into young moms' homes to counsel them on everything from budgeting to coping with diaper rash.

And the state is beginning a "community response" program with sites across the state that will help at-risk families find child care, jobs, counseling and other help.

Reducing child abuse by 50 percent is ambitious, but Kempe Center director Des Runyansaid it is achievable. The rate of domestic violence in this country has dropped by 64 percent since 1994, according to a Department of Justice report.

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