Central Kansas Court Appointed Special Advocates Inc. will sponsor volunteer training beginning on April 19. Anyone interested should call Aidan Loveland Koster, executive director, at 620-792-5544.
As of the end of 2010, there were 211 children with open child abuse and neglect cases in Barton county.
“There is still a critical need for community awareness of child abuse,” said Aidan Loveland Koster, executive director of Central Kansas Court Appointed Special Advocates Inc. “Even in small, rural communities where people feel like they know their neighbors, we still have child abuse and neglect occurring on a regular basis.”
So, today, Koster and Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt are urging Kansans to wear blue to raise awareness of insidious problem. April is national Child Abuse Prevention Month.
The attorney general and the state’s Child Death Review Board also are asking Kansans to be aware of clues of possible abuse.
Schmidt’s office says the signs include parents or caregivers who have no social contacts outside their families and who are controlling or resentful of a child. Also, abusers tend to belittle children with criticism or put-downs and avoid talking about a child’s injuries.
Also, the attorney general’s office says black eyes, human bite marks and burns seldom come from everyday play.
According to the Kansas Code for the Care of Children, KSA 38-2223: “Mandated reporters (individuals required by law to report when they have “reason to suspect that a child has been harmed as a result of physical, mental, or emotional abuse or neglect, or sexual abuse) include physicians, dentists, optometrists, nurse practitioners, hospital administrators, licensed psychologists and licensed social workers, teachers, school administrators, child care workers, emergency service workers…”
Local law enforcement, or even social service agencies like Central Kansas CASA Inc., and St. Francis Community Services are also expected to file reports, Koster said. But, “anyone can call SRS.”
Research has proven that children are almost always telling the truth about abuse, especially sexual abuse, Koster said.