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“Keep a Promise” Child Protection Campaign Launched in Northwest Ohio

Sojourner’s Truth Staff

“Parents who are using drugs can’t think clearly,” said Meliss Klorer, coordinator of the Northwest Ohio Children’s Trust Fund (OCTF). To drive the fact home to the public of the pressing issue of substance abuse and its relationship to child abuse and neglect, the Northwest Ohio Regional Child Abuse and Child Neglect Prevention Council and the OCTF recently launched a campaign called Keep A Promise.

Dr. Gagendeep Brar and Meliss Klorer

The goal of the campaign is “to encourage people to speak up and protect the most vulnerable among us – children,” said OCTF Executive Director Kristen Rost.

In Ohio in 2017, almost 176,000 child abuse or neglect reports were made to various children services agencies. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that between one third and two thirds of such incidents involve substance abuse. The Keep A Promise campaign will target 16 counties in northwest Ohio and a website has been established at KeepAPromise.org.

The website is part of the Keep A Promise effort to inform the public of the connection between drug abuse and child abuse and neglect. “Parents who are abusing use time seeking drugs rather than caring for children,” said Klorer, during a press conference to announce the campaign on May 17 at St. Vincent Medical Center and Children’s Hospital. Joining Korr was Dr. Gagendeep Brar, MD, a neonatologist. Dr. Brar spoke of the high incidence of fentanyl use in Ohio and the corresponding rise in rates of HIV, low birth rates and high stillborn rates.

“The incidence of maternal opioid use has skyrocketed,” said Dr. Brar. For all those reasons, “health clinics should work very closely with the social services teams,” she added. “Prevention is the best way to deal with issues. It is very important that mothers are taken care of right from the beginning.”

The Keep A Promise website will take viewers through a range of information. The issue is explained – the connection between substance abuse and child abuse and neglect. Drug abusers tend to be impaired at critical times, spend household finances on drugs, spend time seeking drugs – all leading to neglect of children at best, and abuse at worst. Neglect and abuse can become evident in a child’s behavior, injuries or even issues with hygiene and appearance. The website provides information for viewers to look for signs of abuse.

Information is also provided for spreading the news to others and how to seek help or report child abuse to agencies in all the 12 counties in northwest Ohio that are part of the OCTF. The contact information for more than 10 such agencies in Lucas County is provided.



Copyright © 2018 by [The Sojourner's Truth]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 08/16/18 14:12:10 -0700.

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