Klamath Falls, Oregon, – April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.  Today at 1:00 p.m. there will be a dedication of the new Child Witness Room at the Klamath County Courthouse. 

On April 11, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. at the Klamath County Government Center, the Klamath County Commissioners will proclaim April Child Abuse Prevention Month.

This month and throughout the year, the Klamath County District Attorney’s Office and the Oregon Department of Justice encourages all individuals and organizations to play a role in making Klamath County a better place for children and families. By ensuring that parents have the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to care for their children, we can help promote the social and emotional well-being of children and youth, and prevent child maltreatment within families and communities. 

Protective factors are the strengths and resources families draw on during difficult times to shield them from life’s stresses. Research shows that when parents possess protective factors, the risk for neglect and abuse diminish and optimal outcomes for children, youth, and families are promoted. Major protective factors include knowledge of parenting, knowledge of child development, parental resilience, social connections, and concrete supports. 

“To reduce the frequency of child abuse and neglect in our community, we must do all we can to prevent abuse, report abuse and intervene when abuse occurs to protect children and strengthen families”, said Sr. Assistant Attorney General John Casalino“Communities must make every effort to support and promote programs and activities that make and keep children safe and create strong and thriving children and families.  Effective child abuse prevention and intervention efforts succeed because of coordinated partnerships between government, child welfare, health, schools, law enforcement and community organizations”, Casalino said.  

Here in Klamath County we collaborate with all our partners to make and keep children safe including our local child assessment center, Klamath-Lake Cares.   

Klamath-Lake CARES, Klamath County’s child abuse assessment center, is a community-based medical program for the assessment, treatment and prevention of child abuse. The organization serves more than 300 local children annually.

In further support of our local efforts in Klamath County, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children’s Bureau, Office on Child Abuse and Neglect, together with Child Welfare Information Gateway, and the FRIENDS National Resource Center for CommunityBased Child Abuse Prevention developed the 2023/2024 Prevention Resource Guide. The guide provides more information about protective factors and highlights examples of innovative prevention approaches being implemented by communities across the country. 

Please call Oregon’s Abuse Reporting Hotline,1-855-503-SAFE (7233) if you suspect a child is being abused. You will be connected to a Child Welfare screener. Please be ready to provide identifying information and where the child is, if known.

For more information about child abuse prevention programs and activities during the month of April, and throughout the year, contact Marci Bryant or Colleen May at our local Department of Human Services.

The Klamath County District Attorney’s office is currently being managed by Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, through Senior Assistant Attorney General John Casalino of the Criminal Justice Division of the Oregon Department of Justice. The Criminal Justice Division provides investigative, trial, training and legal advice to support Oregon’s District Attorney and law enforcement agencies. Assistant Attorneys General from this division often travel to local communities and prosecute crimes throughout Oregon to make all Oregon counties safer.