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Polk saw 324 reports of child abuse in 2017

Saluda proclaims April as Child Abuse Prevention Month

SALUDA — The City of Saluda is the first municipality in the county to recognize April as Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month.

The Saluda City Council met Monday, and heard from Capt. B.J. Bayne and Patty Martin with the Polk County Community Child Fatality Prevention and Protection Team.

Bayne said Polk County Child Protective Services had 324 reports of child abuse in 2017, and the county takes child abuse very seriously.

The following is the proclamation approved by the City of Saluda:

WHEREAS, our children are our most valuable resource and will shape the future of Polk County; and

WHEREAS, every child deserves to be loved, cared for, secure and safe and it is the responsibility of our communities to promote every child’s right to a safe, happy and healthy environment; and

WHEREAS, in 2017, 324 reports were made to Polk County Child Protective Service; and

WHEREAS, child abuse and neglect not only cause immediate harm to children, but can have long-term psychological, emotional and physical effects that can have lifelong consequences for victims of abuse and can increase the likelihood of criminal behavior, substance abuse, health problems and risky behavior; and

WHEREAS, preventing child abuse and neglect is a community responsibility affecting both the current and future quality of life of Polk County and finding solutions depends on involvement among all people; and

WHEREAS, protective factors are conditions that reduce or eliminate risk and promote the social, emotional and developmental well-being of children; and

WHEREAS, we must make every effort to promote programs and activities that benefit children and their families; and

WHEREAS, effective child abuse prevention programs succeed because of partnerships among child welfare, citizens, agencies, schools, religious organizations, law enforcement agencies and the business community; and

WHEREAS, we acknowledge that we must work together and that all citizens should become involved to provide safe, nurturing environments for children in all areas of their lives — at home, in school and in the community — offering them the opportunity to grow up to be caring, contributing members of the community; and

WHEREAS, prevention remains the best defense for our children and families;

NOW, THEREFORE, I Fred Baisden, Mayor of Saluda, do hereby proclaim April 2018 as Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month in Saluda, North Carolina and call upon all citizens, community agencies, faith groups, medical facilities, elected leaders and businesses to recognize this month by dedicating ourselves to the task of improving the quality of life for all children and families, thereby preventing child abuse and neglect and strengthening the community in which we live.