Fort, community meet to combat child abuse, raise public awareness during conference
April 12, 2011
By Amy Sunseri
FORT HUACHCUCA, Ariz. -- Strong communities raise strong children. In turn, communities that care can help reduce adverse actions involving children. On Friday, agencies from on and off Fort Huachuca came together at the Thunder Mountain Activity Centre to discuss child abuse prevention and intervention.
The 10th annual 2011 Child Abuse Awareness conference was sponsored by Army Community Services here, and the Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse, Sierra Vista.
"I think it's important that we continue our community partnership with Fort Huachuca and our community agencies to deepen that collaboration. This is really the first step in continuing to prevent child abuse and child neglect. It really is a team effort," said Stacy Jones, ACS director.
The goal of the annual conference is to bring agencies within the community together, to share information with one another explained Kelly Foster, CPCA president. She added that the conference is also to get information into the hands of those who can help prevent and intervene in cases of child abuse.
"I feel very strongly that all of us in here need to be more on the fence, at the edge of the cliff, rather than the ambulance at the edge of the cliff when people go off. Stop it before it starts," she said.
"Prevention is the key to the onset of any type of issues, and building a resilient community is what we're really trying to do here at Fort Huachuca," Jones added.
During his speech, Fort Huachuca Garrison Commander, Col. Timothy Faulkner, discussed the Army's tempo, how it is not likely to change any time soon, and the demands can especially affect military children.
"Now, more than ever, we continue to demonstrate our commitment to provide our children, their parents and caregivers with a strong healthy support environment for our children to be safe and thrive," he said.
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. This year's theme is "Children are our future; let's keep our future safe by protecting the child."
Faulkner ended his remarks stating, "I'm calling on the entire Fort Huachuca community to be vigilant for the safety of all our children."
There are many resources available through ACS here to include a new parent support program, which offers home visits. There are also resources available in Sierra Vista and across Cochise County.
"If anybody needs help anytime, they can either call Army Community Services or call the CPCA office and will make sure we get them to the right person the first time," Jones added.
For more information and or help with child abuse, call ACS, 533.2300 or Kelly Foster with CPCA, 458.7348, extension 22.