Balloons released as memorial to children

Published 12:42 pm Monday, April 14, 2008

By By Lisa Tindell and Lydia Grimes
Vicki Fussell knows that is what needs to happen in any community to prevent the growing problem of child abuse.
Fussell, director of The Hope Place, along with her staff, is partnering with the Escambia County Regional Child Advocacy Center and Escambia County Department of Human Resources during April to bring awareness to the epidemic of child abuse.
The CAC works with victims who are referred to their offices by staff members of DHR, Jackson said.
DHR workers respond to reports of abuse as quickly as possible to provide for the safety of a child who may be in danger.
Lynn Barnes, Escambia County Department of Human Resources director, said her department receives calls that require help as the response.
DHR officials work closely with the CAC staff members to provide additional services not available through her department, Barnes said.
An increase in the number of reported cases of abuse and neglect has been seen by many agencies across the nation, Jackson said.
Not only are the caseworkers, supervisors, investigators and other officials responsible for investigating any reports of abuse or neglect, other staff members are on hand to help the child through the trauma of the report.
Blue ribbons have been displayed at area businesses and homes to signify an awareness to prevent child abuse, Jackson said.
For ribbons, information concerning the signs and dangers of child abuse or to report a suspected case of abuse or neglect, contact the Escambia County Child Advocacy Center at 809-2906.