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April is child abuse prevention month

A proclamation from the Adams County’s Commissioners office proclaimed April as child abuse prevention month and paid tribute to Adams County Children Youth Services (CYS) for their work toward that end. The proclamation highlights the dedicated staff who continually protect children against the pain that plagues many victims of abuse and neglect, frequently at the hands of parents and caretakers.

CYS accepts all incoming reports of suspected child abuse and neglect, ensures the safety of children residing in the reported household, investigates the validity of accounts, and provides services to families dealing with child abuse and neglect issues.

In 2022 it received more than 4000 calls related to child abuse and neglect concerns. “Child welfare workers witness the marks of physical abuse, hear children cry after being separated from their parents, and listen to stories of emotional trauma, sexual abuse, and neglect. I want to honor them for the work they do,” CYS  Director Sarah Finkey said.

“Everyone has a role to play in preventing child abuse, and everyone can do something to help,” she added. “If parents, neighbors, faith-based organizations, businesses, and medical professions work together, child abuse can be prevented,” she said.

Interested individuals can help by volunteering with Project Hope, a program that matches current and former foster youth and other at-risk youth from the community, ages 13 to 21. The volunteers can provide a listening ear, introduce them to new opportunities and assist them with making responsible decisions.

Commissioner James Martin said, “You have an awesome responsibility, and I want to thank you for taking on such an occupation.

Commissioner Qually said that the work not only helps children today but also children of the future by breaking the chain of abuse. Commissioner Randy Phiel called CYS one of the community’s treasures.

CYS staff provide direct casework services to children and families dealing with child abuse and neglect issues, along with the purchase, coordination, implementation, and evaluation of services for families in need of support. In addition, it offers information and referral services, independent living services, foster care and permanency services, and educational forums.

The 2023 budget for CYS is about $9,300,000, with the more significant expenses going toward salaries and benefits for 52 employees, foster and institutional care, and rental of land and buildings. It is offset by nearly $8,000,000 of state and federal revenues. The independent living total operating budget is about $550,000, with state and federal revenues totaling almost $548,000.

Featured Image Caption: April is Child Abuse Prevention month and the staff of Children and Youth Services were praised for their dedication to that effort. Front Row from left: Elida Murray, Irene Powell, Karina Padilla, Kim Summers, Commissioner Martin, Commissioner Phiel, Sherri DePasqua, Sarah Finkey, Commissioner Qually, Brandi Castro

Second Row: Courtney Stoner, Cora Beyer, Hannah Myers, Steven Murphy, Maddie Kohler, Aparna Bhanu, Crystal Long, Jackie Hendricks, Dan Worley

Third Row: Ashley Garcia, Elizabeth Winebrenner, Carolynne Saum, Michael Roth, Beck Arter, Lizset Diaz, Morgan Stottlemyer, Andrea Singley, Tara Marquis, Clarissa Kiessling

Fourth Row: Melissa Tolbert, Summer Showers, Kay Hollinger, Maggie Cramer, Dennis Lentz, Aleah Leonard, Kim Hernandez, Montana Siegel, Sheena Williams

Fifth Row: Kam Armacost, DJ Roth, Tristan Griffith, Kathy Clark, Leasia Ayers, Dustin Bumbaugh, Carrisa McKean

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Judith Cameron Seniura is a freelance reporter. She began her journalism career in the early ‘70s and has written for newspapers, magazines, and other media in Ontario, Canada, Alaska, Michigan, Nebraska, San Antonio, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.

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