Take A Stand with Riverside County For Children Impacted By Violence, Abuse, and Neglect
Tue, 28/03/2023 - 05:00
On March 28, 2023, at 4:00 P.M., a special flag raising ceremony to honor children impacted by violence, abuse, and neglect, while also standing firmly against all forms of child abuse.
The ceremony will be held at the Riverside County Administrative Center, located at 4080 Lemon Street in Riverside. Featured speakers will include Second District Supervisor Karen Spiegel, Fifth District Supervisor Yxstian Gutierrez, Chief Assistant District Attorney John Aki, Undersheriff Donald Sharp, County Executive Officer Jeff Van Wagenen, Riverside County Department of Public Social Services Director Charity Douglas, and Dr. Carla Lidner Baum, Chair of the HOPE Collaborative Board of Directors.
One in four children experience abuse or neglect in their lifetime. This abuse comes in many forms, including physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect. Advancements in technology have only made it easier for predators to prey on our children. In Riverside County, there were 37,399 reports of alleged child abuse, with 5,805 substantiated in 2021 (source: California Welfare Indicators Project 2022).
“One of the main priorities of the Riverside County Board of Supervisors is to ensure our child protective services’ approach is responsive to the complex needs of abused and neglected children. This flag raising event will highlight the comprehensive continuum of care that is employed once suspected abuse is identified,” said Supervisor Karen Spiegel. “There is nothing more important than protecting those who cannot protect themselves.”
While there are no substitutes for loving parents and guardians, community partners play an important role in keeping children safe. It takes a collective effort and strong partnerships in the public and private sector to stop child abuse from occurring and intervening when a case of suspected abuse arises. Every month, dozens of representatives from child welfare, schools, law enforcement, probation, medical centers, children’s advocates, and local faith-based agencies meet to collaborate on the region’s safety and wellbeing. The HOPE Collaborative convenes these monthly meetings in each supervisorial district in Riverside County and engages professionals, parents and volunteers.
Dr. Carla Lidner Baum, HOPE Collaborative’s Board Chair, shared, “Riverside County works extensively to prevent child abuse and to provide a strong continuum of care that protects our children once potential abuse is reported. From the initial investigations performed by our social workers and deputies, to the legal work and advocacy that occurs to support victims, once our District Attorney’s team is involved, our County provides comprehensive care to children and families. But they can’t do it alone. We need the community’s help to protect the heart and minds of all children - the next generation’s leaders. Nonprofits, educational leaders, neighbors, faith leaders and foster parents all play an important role in strengthening our children.”
Riverside County’s flag raising event will display the robust systems of support and resources that exist to prevent child abuse. A wide network of organizations will be in attendance to raise awareness and showcase the significant efforts that are dedicated to protecting children from abuse and neglect. There are multiple opportunities available to help support children. The HOPE Collaborative encourages members to consider becoming a mentor or a court appointed special advocate (CASA) volunteer. Individuals can stand up for children by providing a home for a foster child, becoming a resource family, volunteering at a school, or simply by extending a helping hand to a parent or child in need.
“It takes a community working in unison to prevent child abuse and neglect in Riverside County. We are thankful for our County and community partners who collaborate with the Department of Public Social Services to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of Riverside County’s next generation,” said Charity Douglas, Director of the Riverside County Department of Public Social Services. “We value each partnership and member of the community who take a stand to prevent abuse and neglect. Behind every report of suspected abuse or neglect is not only an opportunity to ensure a child is safe, but a chance to partner and support families.”
For more information or to attend the flag raising ceremony, contact the HOPE Collaborative by calling 951-369-8036 or by visiting its website at www.hopecollaborative.org.
If you have reason to believe that a child you know is experiencing abuse or neglect, make a report to either law enforcement or to the local child welfare agency. Your voice can make the difference for one child. For further resources visit www.hopecollaborative.org
About the County of Riverside:
The County of Riverside has approximately 40 departments serving more than 2.4 million residents. Services ranging from public safety, health and human services, public works and community services, as well as budget and finance. The county serves approximately 1 million residents a year through its human services departments to ensure residents have critical resources and support.
About Family Service Association:
For nearly 70 years, Family Service Association has addressed poverty, hunger, and health, from infancy to older adults, in families and under-served communities. Through early education, trauma-informed mental health services, obtainable senior housing, support for home-bound individuals, safe senior/community centers, and nutritious meals for older adults, FSA’s team members serve over 13,000 community members each year. FSA also lead’s the County’s Child Abuse Prevention Council, The HOPE Collaborative. FSA’s motto is compelling, Family Strength Is Community Strength.
About Hope Collaborative:
HOPE Collaborative serves as Riverside County’s Child Abuse Prevention Council. With a focus on interagency collaboration, community awareness, education, policy advocacy, and mandatory reporter training, the HOPE collaborative works closely with law enforcement, school districts, non-profits, medical providers, mental health professionals, faith-based groups, community advocates, and the department of public and social services towards the prevention of child abuse and neglect in Riverside County.