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Child Abuse Prevention Month: Arbor Circle

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Some observances are ones you wish you did not have to mark. With 684 children confirmed victims of abuse and neglect in Ottawa County in 2016, Child Abuse Prevention Month in April is one of those observances.

More than 70% of Arbor Circle’s clients report having experienced childhood trauma. Research consistently demonstrates the more trauma a child experiences, the worse their overall health outcomes become. Examples of such traumas include: sexual, physical, emotional abuse and/or neglect; domestic violence; and having a parent with a mental illness or substance use disorder. 

Arbor Circle is committed to preventing and minimizing the impact trauma has on children, adults and families in our community. We know that preventing child abuse and neglect is a community-wide effort, and that no one organization can prevent child maltreatment by itself. Arbor Circle facilitates the Stop Child Abuse and Neglect (SCAN) Council in Ottawa County because we believe that by working together and pooling resources, we can maximize our impact.

In addition to SCAN, Arbor Circle provides a variety of programs to support children and families:

  • Child Welfare: Our Child Welfare services include adoption, foster care and Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). When a child is in the child welfare system due to abuse or neglect, foster care provides a temporary, nurturing home for him/her. If the child is unable to return to his/her biological parents, our adoption team works to place the child into a loving, permanent home. Throughout the whole court process, CASA Volunteers advocate for the child, reporting to the judges as to what is in the child’s best interest.
  • Early Childhood Services: Becoming a strong family can be a rewarding journey for parents, and a life-changing one for children. Arbor Circle offers many services for expectant mothers and families with young children, often providing services in the comfort of the family’s home.
  • Parenting Resources: Arbor Circle offers a variety of parenting groups, classes and workshops to strengthen parenting skills and support stronger families.
  • Substance Use Services: Arbor Circle provides individual and family therapy and support for women on their paths to recovery. Peer advocates provide case management and advocacy support, helping mothers connect with available resources. We work to eliminate as many potential barriers as possible in order to promote a woman’s chances for successful recovery, healthy pregnancy and infant wellness.  

As the month of April comes to a close, we ask you to remember that preventing child abuse and neglect is important all year long. You can do your part by donating your resources, volunteering your time and using your voice to advocate for children in need.

If you are interested in learning more about how you can support great childhoods, please contact us by email or at (616) 456-7775 ext. 1315.