Tennessee Task Force on Child Abuse

Tennessee needs to take action!

The lawmakers in Tennessee were provided with a report from the Joint Task Force on Children’s Justice/Child Sexual Abuse. Several detailed recommendations were made on how to better protect the children of Tennessee. They include such things as joint training for different groups involved in child welfare, better methods for collecting data, ways to improve the legal system, and ways to raise awareness of child sexual abuse. These suggestions need the backing of the Tennessee General Assembly.

The Task Force is seeking more statewide consistency in child protection. There are recommendations on how social workers, law enforcement, and health providers can better work together on behalf of the children. A lot of emphasis seems to be placed on improving the quality of Child Protective Services within DCS. There has even been a recommendation for increased pay for front-line workers. I found this to be a bold move in this economy. Finally, someone is talking about backing their recommendations with financial support.

The Task Force consists of approximately forty people including lawyers, doctors, and DCS employees. DCS has already tried to implement some of the recommendations. Last year’s recommendations spurred DCS to provide new child protection training across the state. They have instituted a program called In Home Tennessee to help at-risk families with local services.

The report also had data regarding the amount of abuse for a one-year period in Tennessee. There were 93,799 referrals made in Tennessee and 7,852 confirmed victims. That is only in Tennessee . . . a small state. You can imagine what the numbers are nationwide.

If you’re in Tennessee tell your legislatures to get off their duffs and do what needs to be done to protect our children.

Here’s the full report if you want to read it. http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/564098-tn-child-sexua-abuse-plan-2013.html

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