It takes a Village to Raise and Protect a Child

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Any form of abuse to anyone goes beyond danger and can cause mental and physical injuries. “What we want people to remember is, if you have a concern for the safety of a child, then they should report that, said the First Witness Child Advocacy Center Executive Director, Tracie Clanaugh.

When there is the possibility of child abuse, approaching the situation with caution is the first step. “If you have a concern, and you want to talk through that, I would also encourage people to call their social service agency and discuss that concern and allow them to talk through that with you in terms of what might be a real concern and what might not be,” says Clanuagh.

If you feel your concern is not addressed, there is another option. You can talk to social services, and if that doesn’t work, advocates say you can speak to a supervisor. It could be hard to have that difficult conversation where there is a connection between a child with members in the community, at school, or a coach-team player bond.

Taking that step and reporting a possible case of child abuse does not have to feel like a one-person job. "We do not have to do this on your own. If you have concerns for the safety of a child, it’s important to reach out,” said Clanuagh.

It takes a village to raise a child…it also takes that same village to protect a child. "Kids need positive adults in their lives, says Clanuagh. We cannot underscore the need for positive, caring adults in kids’ lives.”

To learn more about child abuse, First Witness Child Advocacy Center has a lot of information about protecting children, families, etc. Diocese of Duluth and St. Louis County Minnesota Public Health and Human Services websites provide more information about child abuse and links to report a child abuse report.