2006-05-05 / Community

Child Abuse Prevention Hotline

State Senator Malcolm Smith recently announced that the Parent Information Resource Center (PIRC) has opened a 24-hour Parent Helpline designed to counsel parents and provide them with the information and resources they need.

"The job of being a parent is one of, if not the toughest in the world. I want to make sure every parent in my community is aware of the resources available," said Senator Smith.

Parents, youth, other family members and concerned friends can call the Helpline 24 hours a day at 1-800 342-7472. Confidential help is available in both English and Spanish.

Senator Smith noted that April was Child Abuse Prevention Month, an opportunity for communities to work together to strengthen families, and recognize the signs of child abuse in their communities.

PIRC is a program offered by Prevent Child Abuse New York, an organization whose goal is to develop, improve and expand quality services and effective policies to prevent child abuse and neglect, to protect all children.

"According to Prevent Child Abuse New York, more than 70,000 children across New York State are abused and neglected every year, and nearly 100 of those children, mostly under the age of five, die from that abuse and neglect. Those who survive often have many social problems, including substance abuse, domestic violence, juvenile delinquency, and adult crime. The monetary cost of child abuse to our state is more than $2 billion a year, but in human terms the costs are incalculable," noted Senator Smith.

Senator Smith said the staff at the center carefully and calmly listens to the concerns of parents and others. From there, the staff can then help individuals explore possible courses of action and connect them with local programs and services.

"It has been said time and again that the best weapon against child abuse is good parenting. The PIRC recognizes this through its focus on serving parents.

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