LIMA — Reducing the frequency of child abuse is not just the government’s responsibility, an Allen County administrator says, it is everyone’s responsibility.
In an effort to help reduce the rate of child abuse in the area, the Allen County Family and Children First Council awarded grants totaling $33,951 to five county agencies.
“The bottom line is it is not just Children Services responsibility to reduce child abuse in our county, it is everyone’s responsibility,” Allen County Family and Children First Council coordinator Jennie Horner said Thursday after the Allen County commissioners approved a plan for fiscal year 2015. “It is our responsibility as people that we work with our kids, and our parents. It is our responsibility to protect our neighbors and this money gives us an opportunity to educate our community, to educate our parents in an effort to lower the child abuse rate we have right here in our county.”
The money for the grants came from the Ohio Children’s Trust Fund, which provides funding for child abuse and neglection prevention. The trust fund receives its revenue from surcharges on birth and death certificates and divorce and dissolution paperwork.
“We are going to use the money for parent education programs, for parent activities. We want to encourage parent engagement with their kids, family activities with the children and materials to educate families on coping skills when they are frustrated the things they can do to calm themselves down to prevent child abuse,” Horner said. “We were allocated $33,951, which we are very excited about, and we will use every penny of it.”
The local council is providing a $8,490 grant to the Family Resource Center for the Incredible Years parenting program. The program focuses on strengthening parent-child interactions, reducing harsh discipline and fostering parents’ ability to promote children’s social, emotional and language development.
The Auglaize County Development Disabilities board received $7,631 for the Incredible Years preschool program. The program focuses on strengthening children’s social and emotional competencies, such as understanding and communicating feelings, using effective problem-solving strategies, managing anger, practicing friendship and conversational skills, and behaving appropriately in the classroom.
Connected Hands Helping Others, which will provide the a parenting program, received $7,751, the Partnership for Violent Free Families received $4,787 for parenting education, and the Lima Allen Council on Community Affairs received $3,595 for a Head Start nurturing and caring program.
The grants fit in with the Family and Children First Council’s mission to foster child abuse prevention, to assist pregnant teens and to help children succeed in school.