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Child Abuse Prevention Month

Join Georgetown County DSS, Partners in Recognizing 
Child Abuse Prevention Month
Georgetown County DSS is partnering with the Georgetown District of African Methodist Episcopal Churches to mark April as Child Abuse Prevention Month at 1 p.m. Friday, April 7, at the JB Beck Administration and Education Center, Room C121 2018 Church St., Georgetown, SC 29440. The event is to acknowledge the importance of the Georgetown community in working together to prevent child abuse and neglect and to draw attention to effective solutions of prevention. During the ceremony, the church association will present care packages for children in care to Georgetown DSS.
“These hygiene kits will really help our children,” said Donna Stackhouse, interim director for Georgetown County DSS. “Sometimes when children come to us from situations involving abuse or neglect, they are not able to bring basic items such as toothbrushes and deodorant with them. These care packages will provide them with some comforts of home.”
This donation is part of ‘Share the Love Project,’ a community outreach service activity sponsored by the District Superintendents of the Georgetown District of AME Churches. From the City of Georgetown, the Georgetown District stretches northward along the coastal communities of Pawleys Island and Murrells Inlet, southward to the North Santee community, west to the Andrews community and northwest to include several churches in the Hemingway community of Williamsburg County. The 32 churches which encompass the Georgetown District are under the leadership of Presiding Elder Sandy William Drayton.
The South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS) joins with other organizations across the state and supports the efforts of our prevention partner, Children’s Trust of South Carolina, the state’s affiliate organization for Prevent Child Abuse America.
"While the reach of child abuse and neglect in our state is heartbreaking, as it violates our collective beliefs around protecting our children and keeping our communities safe, what we do in response to reduce the risks surrounding children and families is a test of our character and commitment," said Susan Alford, director of the S.C. Department of Social Services. "DSS is thankful for the support of children's services agencies, child advocates, the faith-based community, the legislature, the courts, law enforcement, and others for their role in developing and strengthening the safety net for children in South Carolina. Protecting our state's most precious citizens and preventing child abuse cannot be accomplished alone but will only be achieved when the entire community is relentless in its advocacy on behalf of children."   
From June 2015 to June 2016 there were 43,924 reports (intakes) of child abuse and neglect in South Carolina. Of those reported, approximately 25,000 child protective services cases were investigated and abuse was found in more than 10,000 of those cases.
Children’s Trust CEO Sue Williams commended Georgetown DSS and the Georgetown District of African Methodist Episcopal Churches for their leadership role in preventing child abuse.  “Their commitment sends a signal we are united as strong, passionate, statewide advocates for preventing child abuse and neglect,” Williams said. “No single public agency or community organization can do this alone.”
Child Abuse Prevention Month is a time to celebrate the good things our communities do to support stronger families and healthy children. Everyone – individuals, families and communities – must work together to prevent child abuse.
When people see a pinwheel or a pinwheel garden planted in front of a home, business, church, school or agency in April, they should know the pinwheel, the national symbol of child abuse prevention, represents the happy, healthy childhood every child deserves.
Prevent Child Abuse America is focusing on three simple actions that people can take to help prevent child abuse:
1.     Mentor a child or parent,
2.     Advocate for family-friendly policies, and
3.     Donate to a child-serving organization.
To report abuse or neglect contact your local DSS office or law enforcement officials.
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