We can all help protect children 0
ryan paulsen email@example.com October is child abuse awareness month, and the Purple Ribbon Campaign at the Pembroke Family and Children’s Services office is focused on raising awareness of abuse and neglect issues, and encouraging the community to get involved in the safety of local kids. Some campaign members are (from the left): Terri Ann Brazeau (child protection worker), Alison Fretter (intake worker and city police liaison), Bobby Keefe (child protection worker) and Debbie Gervais (executive assistant to director). For more community photos please visit our website photo gallery at www.thedailyobserver.ca
October is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and Family and Children’s Services Renfrew County (FCS) wants the community to remember that we all have a role to play in protecting local children from abuse and neglect.
“We all have a responsibility,” says FCS authorized child protection worker Terri Ann Brazeau, “that if we think, or suspect that a child is either being subjected to abuse or neglect or if, overall, there are concerns, that they contact Family and Children’s Services and speak to someone in our intake department. That doesn’t mean that it’s their responsibility to do the investigating, it’s just if they have a concern or think that something is a little out of place or doesn’t look quite right, or if they just want to bounce ideas off the intake workers, that’s something they could do, too.”
Above all, Brazeau wants to steer people away from the misconception that a phone call will necessarily result in a child being taken away from their parents, which is definitely a worst-case scenario.
“Part of the Purple Ribbon Campaign,” she says, “is to help educate our community on the other wonderful things that we do, instead of those worst-case scenarios. I mean, we work with lots of families, and some of the things we do is we connect them to some other support services in our community that they’re not aware of, because our ultimate goal is to keep children safe in their homes.”
Connecting families with other resources can present extra challenges in rural settings, and FCS’s work involves arranging transportation to various types of appointments, as well as plugging families in to local social and mental health organizations like the Community Resource Centre in Killaloe or the Phoenix Centre in Pembroke.
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