County renews fight against child abuse
A solemn matter headlined the April 12 Board of Josephine County Commissioners’ weekly business session – that of child abuse and the need to prevent it.
Anne G. Basker Auditorium in Grants Pass hosted the regularly scheduled meeting.
Commissioner John West read a proclamation declaring the month of April 2023 Child Abuse Prevention Month in Josephine County, but first JoCo Juvenile Justice Director Jim Goodwin delivered remarks on child abuse.
“This is one of those situations where I’m here to accept this proclamation… but it’s not something you can say I’m very happy to do, as this is a very somber subject,” Goodwin said. “April is Child Abuse Awareness Month, as you folks know. This is incredibly difficult work that’s done here through the county through Children’s Advocacy Center.”
On a brighter note, Goodwin reported that they recently broke ground on the new Children’s Advocacy Center site on the corner of 5th St and A St in Grants Pass, implementing a public-private partnership.
“We’re very excited about bringing better and more comprehensive services to this population of the county, and I would just say thank you for accepting this proclamation.”
The county’s proclamation read in part, “Every child deserves to be safe, nurtured and supported in caring relationships; and every family deserves to be safe, nurtured and supported in their community… We lay the foundation for children’s later growth and development when the entire community takes responsibility for creating healthy environments in which to raise our children.”
The proclamation concludes with, “Effective child abuse prevention programs succeed because of community partnerships created among families, social agencies, schools, businesses, law enforcement agencies, faith-based organizations and other child serving agencies; it is easier to build healthy and strong children than repair broken adults.”
The estimated cost to treat the effects of child maltreatment in the United States exceeds $1 billion annually.
Board Chair Herman Baertschiger commented, “It is definitely something very important and it is somber. It’s sad that we even have to do this but I think we need to take note.”
The board later unanimously voted to approve the dedication of additional right-of-way space for the new Children’s Advocacy Center in Grants Pass.