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Letter to the Editor - Kansas City Star

Vince Hillyer, President/CEO, Great Circle

To Prevent Abuse, Help Build Strong Families

Eliminating child abuse and neglect will take an ongoing commitment by everyone. So let’s begin in April – Child Abuse Prevention Month – to take concrete steps that help strengthen our region’s families.

Abuse and neglect often stem from societal and economic stressors – poverty, violence, substance abuse or mental health issues – that push families to the edge. Some adults lack basic parenting skills others take for granted. Abused children become adult abusers. Without healthy role models or supports, children are left with lifelong emotional and physical scars.

Instead of assessing blame, we must take action to address these systemic issues, helping parents learn to parent, build job skills and move away from life on the edge. Studies show that when families receive this circle of support, services and training, it’s often possible to safely reunify children and parents, thus creating a strong family unit where none existed before.

As a longtime community partner, Great Circle is there for families when they need help, because children thrive when families are strong. Let’s work together to make an impact – please add your voice and support to efforts that eliminate child abuse and neglect in Missouri, not just in April but throughout the year.

Vince Hillyer
President/CEO, Great Circle