(Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of Guest Viewpoints regarding the 90by30 program and a month-long focus on reducing and preventing child abuse and neglect during the month of April.)
April 20, 2019 — The 90by30 project Child Abuse Prevention Project endeavors to reduce child abuse and neglect in Lane County 90 percent by the year 2030. This goal can be achieved by inspiring everyone in our community to take action to support parents and families, and ensure that all youth are safe, nurtured and connected.
When community members take positive action, families are supported and youth are connected, child abuse and neglect is prevented. A connected child is a protected child. But how do we make sure all kids are safe and families are supported in our community?
Each of us has a role to play in the lives of youth. For example, local business efforts to assist families are amplified when they extend contribution opportunities to their employees and customers. Senior citizens can play a role in the lives of Lane County youth by passing on their wisdom, time and talents to younger generations.
Educators play a critical role in the lives of our youth because they act on the front lines, working with children as key role models in their lives. The positive impact of these educator-student relationships extends far beyond the confines of the classroom.
The role of family members is similarly significant; family members can provide non-judgmental support that can mean a world of difference to parents and children who turn to them for help.
In the same vein as family members, trusted friends are important allies who help parents who may be experiencing a spectrum of emotions that come along with parenthood, from feeling scared and overwhelmed to proud and joyous.
Caring neighbors play a major role in the lives of our youth as well by keeping our neighborhoods safe, healthy and family-friendly, thus children feel cared for and parents feel supported.
Who else has a role in the lives of our youth? Faith communities, nonprofit and civic organizations, healthcare providers, first responders, youth activity leaders, youth and teens and parents. In other words, we all have a role to play in the lives of our youth, because a connected child is a protected child.
The public is encouraged to attend an open house event on Saturday, April 27, at Siuslaw Middle School, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., to meet community partners and learn about strategies being implemented in our region by 90by30.