these and send to your local newspapers. Check for your local papers
at the CA
Opinion Press List. Be sure to check submission guidelines
of each paper. For more help, go to the Advocacy chapter of Prepare
Tomorrow’s Parents’ Guide, which includes working with
media, at www.preparetomorrowsparents.org/guide5.pdf,
or contact Prepare Tomorrow's Parents at firstname.lastname@example.org
Child Abuse by Preparing Tomorrow’s Parents
(Adapt before submitting to your local papers)
high profile celebrity videos to senseless deaths of young children,
the news from California makes clear the need to address child abuse
recently widowed soldier left active duty when his wife suddenly
died after childbirth; overwhelmed with grief and suddenly raising
his children awaits trial for the infant’s death from a head
injury the father claims was an accident due to moving the baby
college student awaits trial for abuse of her newborn, whose body
was found in a trash bin, one of many such cases over time.
is no shortage of such tragic outcomes for in our state, and countless
more babies and children are harmed physically and emotionally;
with nearly 500,000 California reports of child abuse and neglect
occurring each year, and many more unreported. California spends
over a billion dollars on services to assist children who are abused
or at risk, and the costs continue for their lifetimes.
does care. The governor publicly proclaimed April as Child Abuse
Prevention Month, stating, "To make certain that our State's
next generation consists of well-adjusted, contributing members
to society, we must take the necessary steps to prevent child abuse.
This month, I applaud the strides we are making as a State to reduce
the risk of child abuse and the continuing work we will accomplish
-- one child and one family at a time."
San Francisco mayor has introduced legislation to improve family
violence prevention efforts and increase services for survivors.
Other bills would extend the time period during which a newborn
can be surrendered at a safe haven, and make it easier to share
information about abuse and neglect.
couple whose toddler daughter died as a result of “Shaken
Baby Syndrome” in the hands of her caregiver has launched
a foundation and works tirelessly to prevent this from devastating
can we do more to protect our infants from harm? We can do much
more. One effective measure that California is overlooking in its
prevention efforts is to prepare parents and potential caretakers
of infants with the knowledge they need to keep infants in their
care safe. All of us are potential caretakers of infants. 80% of
us become parents. We must reach everyone before they have vulnerable
infant’s well-being in their sole control.
classes for all children while they are in elementary and/or middle
school and high school could reach all potential caretakers. Some
programs exist in California and are often taught by Family and
Consumer Science Teachers. We want to encourage California boys
and girls to take these classes. Ideally, there needs to be parenting
classes available for all students.
learn about the responsibilities of parenting, child development
and caring skills improving their ability to nurture and relate
to others. The panicking new young mother would have learned that
her baby could be brought to a safe haven at a church or fire house.
The overwhelmed widowed dad would have learned about high maintenance
infants, handling babies, to monitor his care when under stress,
and to reach out for help.
responsibly take care of our youngest citizens, let’s encourage
our legislators and schools to consider adding child rearing classes
for their students, most of whom will at some point in their lives
need to take care of an infant. Students can learn how to repair
a car, cook meals and learn woodshop skills in school. They also
need to take classes that prepare them for the most important job
they will ever have if they become parents Extensive research tells
us that parenting classes help lower violence in the home and community
and reduce the number of teen pregnancies. Also, costs to the state
for social programs are greatly reduced when children grow up knowing
how to communicate and care effectively for their families. More
information can be found at www.preparetomorrowsparents.org
to the California Prepare Tomorrows Parents Month Index Page
to Prepare Tomorrow's Parents Month Index Page