April 12, 2024

Commissioners Emphasize Importance Of Child Abuse Prevention In Franklin County

Child Abuse Prevention Month 2024

Representatives of Franklin County Children and Youth Services, the Children’s Advocacy Center of Franklin County and the Franklin County District Attorney’s Office joined Franklin County Commissioner John Flannery, Commissioner Chairman Dean Horst and Commissioner Bob Ziobrowski for a proclamation presentation declaring April 2024 to be  Child Abuse Prevention Month in Franklin County during the commissioners’ April 10 public board meeting.


CHAMBERSBURG, Pa.– The Franklin County Commissioners have proclaimed April 2024 to be Child Abuse Prevention Month and are encouraging all residents, community leaders and stakeholders to do their part to stop the mistreatment of children and to provide families with the necessary supports to be successful.


According to national data from the Department of Health and Human Services, at least 1 in 7 children has experienced child abuse or neglect in the past year. Those rates are five times higher for children in families with low socioeconomic status. In the commonwealth, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services received 39,093 reports of suspected child abuse in 2022, 12.8% of which were substantiated cases. Sexual abuse remains the leading category of substantiated abuse, followed by physical abuse. 


Locally, Franklin County Children and Youth Services (CYS) received 2,945 referrals for assessment or investigation in 2023. Of those referrals, there were 578 investigations into child abuse. Ten cases were substantiated for physical abuse, 29 cases were substantiated for sexual abuse and three cases were substantiated for physical neglect. 


While Child Abuse Prevention Month draws attention to the mistreatment of children, its greater purpose is to inspire others to take the necessary steps to prevent and reduce instances of child abuse and neglect in their communities. 


Increasing social supports, sharing best practices for parenting and child development, and providing resources to help families cope with stress are key to reducing the risk of abuse and increasing children’s ability to grow and reach their full potential. These strategies are most effective when citizens, human service agencies, schools, faith communities, health care providers, civic organizations, law enforcement agencies and the business community work together.


“Protecting and supporting our children so they grow up to become confident, happy, healthy and safe members of our community is of utmost importance to the county,” said Franklin County Commissioner Chairman Dean Horst. “Franklin County’s Children and Youth Services staff are dedicated to maintaining and preserving families and providing them with the necessary resources to reduce child neglect and foster opportunities for growth.”


By recognizing Child Abuse Prevention Month in Franklin County, the commissioners are urging residents and local agencies to do their part to promote the healthy growth and development of Franklin County’s youth and to recognize and report all instances of abuse and neglect within their communities.


Locally, Franklin County CYS works to protect children, preserve families and ensure that every child has a permanent home. For more information, call 717-263-1900. To report child abuse or neglect, contact the Pennsylvania Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-932-0313.


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