WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Members of White Plains' Child Abuse Prevention Center briefed members of the Westchester County Board of Legislators earlier this month on a "hidden epidemic."
Volunteers for the organization told BOL members that they have worked to help families across the county reduce the incidence of child abuse and neglect. April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. Executive Director Laura Schwartz and Assistant Executive Director Linda Paver of the Child Abuse Prevention Center (CAPC), both veteran social workers, met with the BOL Community Services Committee at the request of its chair, Legislator Alfreda Williams (D-Greenburgh), and spoke about how their organization is fighting what is often referred to as a “hidden epidemic.”
The CAPC works closely with about 150 families and serving more than a thousand other families with various outreach and assistance programs, according to a press release. More than 3 million reports of child abuse are made every year in the United States, which has one of the worst records in this regard among industrialized nations, according to the release.
“Children are among our most vulnerable residents, and it is incumbent on us to do all we can to guarantee their protection,” said Williams. “The County’s support of the Child Abuse Prevention Center is a crucial component of our safety net services. As awareness of this important societal issue grows, I hope that more people and organizations will get involved, and we can decrease the incidence of abuse. No child in Westchester, or anywhere, should have to suffer from abuse or neglect.”
The Child Abuse Prevention Center, based in White Plains, has been operating for more than 30 years with the understanding "that abuse and neglect occur among all socioeconomic, ethnic or religious groups," representatives said in the release.
Schwartz said that after the meeting the number of calls to the CAPC Help-Line increased last year from the previous year.
The CAPC will host its annual “Taking Steps Against Child Abuse Walkathon” on April 27 at Playland.