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franklin county times

DHR: Report child abuse

By Staff
From staff reports
In fiscal year 2005, the Department of Human Resources investigated approximately 19,000 reports of child abuse and neglect across Alabama.
The investigations were prompted by reports from vigilant community partners who notified DHR of possible threats to the health and safety of Alabama's children.
The importance of community involvement is being stressed during the month of April, which Governor Bob Riley has proclaimed as Child Abuse Prevention Month.
"We count on our community partners to alert us when there is a possible threat to a child's well being," said State DHR Commi-ssioner Page Walley. "Our protective service workers are conscientious professionals who investigate these reports with the child's safety as their top priority."
Jerry W. Groce, director of the Franklin County Department of Human Resources, noted that certainty is not required in order to make a report.
"If there is a reasonable suspicion that a child is being abused or neglected, you should make a report," said Groce. "We have a very professional and caring staff committed to protecting children and meeting the needs of Franklin County families."
"Our child welfare staff works closely with law enforcement officials and mandated reporters such as teachers, doctors and other medical personnel in investigating these reports," said Linda McNatt, supervisor of the Family Service Staff.
McNatt pointed out that handling these cases requires skill, patience and persistence.
"In some cases, the Protective Service worker encounters an angry parent or relative who demands to know who reported the suspected abuse or neglect to DHR," said McNatt.
"Privacy laws prohibit the release of information about specific cases, including the name of the person who made the report."
To report suspected abuse, neglect or exploitation of a child, contact the Franklin County Department of Human Resources at 331-5927, or your local law enforcement authorities.

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