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Department of Human Services and the Keep Kids Safe Council Promote Child Abuse Prevention
Release Date: May 18, 2009

Sussex County Department of Human Services and the Keep Kids Safe Council Promote Child Abuse Prevention

The Sussex County Department of Human Services collaborated with the Keep Kids Safe Council to organize and hold a child abuse prevention conference targeting direct care staff in county organizations such as daycares, schools, after-care programs, camps, churches and agencies on April 30, 2009. The Keep Kids Safe Council is a local council of human service agencies led by the United Way of Sussex County. With limited funding coming through this council, these creative and dedicated members find ways to get the message of the community understanding that they have a part in child abuse prevention. Some of the goals of the Council are to promote safe and healthy behaviors for children of all ages, encourage and inspire the general community to step up and get involved in the prevention of child abuse and educate and refresh the direct care staff who are working with children day in and day out. With these goals in mind, the Department of Human Services and the Council decided to hold a conference on "A Positive Approach to Discipline" on April 30, 2009.

With two time choices to accommodate direct care staff, a dynamic professional speaker, and at a minimal cost, the conference was extremely well received. Ninety-three Sussex County residents from various daycares, schools, camps, after-care programs, churches and agencies attended the conference to hear speaker Geoffrey Gollihur educate them on effective methods of positive discipline to decrease misbehavior in children and create a positive atmosphere for everyone, whether it be at home, in the classroom, at the after-care program, etc. Geoff stressed the importance of teachers, parents, and staff focusing on being proactive instead of reactive, the seriousness of rules, and the necessity of having certain traits such as consistency, being fair and being a role model for the children in your life in order to really make a difference. Geoff also explained some of the reasons why children and adolescents "act out" and their lack of impulse control when making decisions in order to prevent child abuse at any level.

The Department of Human Services and the Keep Kids Safe Council will continue to work together on their goals and plan on reaching the community next year with another successful conference on child abuse prevention. For more information, please contact Christine Florio at (973) 948-6000 ext. 226 or cflorio@sussex.nj.us.

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