Posted: Monday, October 15th 2012 at 10:18am
Pastors invited to participate in Hall Co. child abuse prevention initiative
By B.J. Williams Editor
GAINESVILLE - Hall County pastors are being recruited to take part in an initiative to curb child sexual abuse in the area.
The Georgia Center for Child Advocacy is spearheading the initiative with a goal of training 7,000 people in Hall County to prevent child sexual abuse. Regional coordinator Steve Collins said that represents five-percent of Hall County's total population.
The focus of the initiative, said Collins, it to prevent child sexual abuse from happening. He said there are a number of agencies that assist children in the aftermath of abuse, but more needs to be done in the arena of prevention.
"No one is really focused on prevention, and we want our churches to be a key leader in this county-wide prevention initiative," said Collins.
That's because a high percentage of children participate in church programs as they are growing up, noted Collins.
"Churches need to take seriously the responsibility to protect children, but too often churches don't do all that they can to make their facilities and their programs the safest for children."
Collins also pointed out that Georgia law was expanded this past summer to make pastors and church volunteers mandated reporters when they suspect of a child.
Explanation of how that law will impact churches, as well as other information, will be shared with pastors at a luncheon this Wednesday, October 17 at the The Little House on Washington Street in Gainesville. The luncheon and information session will begin at 11:30 a.m. and continue until 1:00 p.m., according to Collins.
The following agencies have endorsed the Hall County initiative to prevent child abuse:
Adults Protecting Children, Inc.
Boys and Girls Club of Hall County
Brenau University College of Health and Science
Children's Center for Hope and Healing
Community Bank and Trust
Edmondson-Telford Center for Children
Gainesville City Schools
Gainesville Park and Rec.
Gainesville Police Dept.
Gateway Domestic Violence Center
Georgia Mountain YMCA
Hall County District Attorney’s Office
Hall County Parks and Rec.
Hall County Sheriff’s Office
Hall County Solicitor’s Office
Healthy Families (NGMC)
Quinlan Center for Visual Arts
Region 2 Health Department
Safe Kids Gainesville and Hall County
Teen Pregnancy Prevention
University of North Georgia—Gainesville Campus
Westminster Presbyterian Church
Link: Georgia Center for Child Advocacy
© Copyright 2013 AccessNorthGa.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.