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Commentary: Child protection job one for Alberta

October is Child Abuse Prevention Month in Alberta, a time to recognize the importance of protecting and supporting the province’s youngest and most vulnerable citizens
opinion

While much recent public attention has rightly been focused on the COVID-19 pandemic, and in particular how it continues to pose life and death challenges for Albertans of all ages, other important social issues should also continue garnering public interest and attention. 

One such issue is child abuse and the ongoing and significant negative impacts it continues to have across this province, including in this district’s rural and urban communities.

October is Child Abuse Prevention Month in Alberta, a time set aside to recognize the importance of protecting and supporting the province’s youngest and most vulnerable citizens, while at the same time highlighting some of the things that can and must be done to stop the abuse of children.

Rebecca Schulz is the province’s minister of Children’s Services. She says ordinary citizens can and must be part of the ongoing fight against child abuse.

“No child should have to live in fear or suffer in silence, and every one of us has an important role to play in making sure kids are safe,” said Schultz. 

“By learning to recognize the signs of neglect and abuse and by reporting your concerns for a child’s safety, you can make a positive impact in the life of a young person.”

While stakeholders such as police officers and social workers continue to do their part in combatting child abuse, the vital contributions of ordinary citizens in keeping children safe from harm cannot be understated. 

“We look to families, teachers, caregivers, medical professionals, community group leaders and other members of the public to help protect the children in our lives,” she said. “Together, we can make a difference for a child in need of help.”

Alberta’s children rely on parents, caregivers and other adults to help them make their way through daily life – and that includes protecting them from abuse. 

As such, area residents are encouraged, throughout the year, to report any and all cases of suspected child abuse to the authorities without delay. 

Dan Singleton is an editor with The Albertan.



Dan Singleton

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