Dade County Observes National Child Abuse Prevention Month

REBECCA HAZEN/Dade County Sentinel
CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION MONTH Community members gathered at the historical courthouse on Thursday, April 8 to place pinwheels to bring awareness to National Child Abuse Prevention Month. There are 260 pinwheels, one for each of the forensic interviews the Children’s Advocacy Center conducted last year in the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit. Pictured from left are: Martha Baker with Dade First Family Connection, Ella Baker, Harper Baker, Dade County Sheriff Ray Cross, Misty McConathy, Chad Payne, Phyllis Baker, Kathy Johnson with Georgia Division of Family and Children Services, Cyndi Thurman with the Dade County Sheriff’s Office, Dade County’s Public Information officer Carey Anderson, and Anthony Dye with the Children’s Advocacy Center.

By REBECCA HAZEN
News Editor

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and members of Dade First Family Connection, the Children’s Advocacy Center, and other community members are bringing awareness by wearing blue, and by displaying pinwheels around town.

Anthony Dye, executive director of the Children’s Advocacy Center, spoke during the Thursday, April 8 weekly county update.

The Children’s Advocacy Center serves Dade, Catoosa, Chattooga and Walker counties.

“We assist in the centralized activities of all agencies involved in the intervention and prevention of child abuse,” Dye said.

Services are offered for physical and emotional safety for children and their non-offending caregivers. Also offered are forensic services, and advocacy services to aid in the investigative process, as well as mental health services to help heal after abuse has taken place.

The Children’s Advocacy Center has an office in Dade County, which is open on Mondays.

“We provide trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapy and play therapy,” Dye said. “The only requirement we have for mental health services is that the child has experienced trauma.

The Children’s Advocacy Center can receive referrals from law enforcement, from the Department of Family and Children Services, from outside mental health providers, and the school system.

“Right now in our mental health offices, we are seeing about 75 to 80 children a week. In 2020 we received 260 reports of child abuse in the four counties, with the majority of those being sexual abuse cases,” Dye said.

To learn more about the Children’s Advocacy Center, visit caclmjc.com

County Executive Ted Rumley noted that Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has lifted COVID-19 restrictions as of April 8.

According to a press release, Executive Order 03.31.21.03 does the following: eliminates the Gatherings ban, eliminates Shelter-in-Place requirements, removes the critical infrastructure distinction and collapses all organization suggested measures into one main list, with a small number of additional industry-specific requirements remaining, reduces any remaining distance requirements (i.e. distance between parties at restaurants, bars, and movie theaters, and between patrons of group fitness classes), and eliminates the ability of law enforcement to close an organization for failure to comply with the Executive Order provisions.

“If a restaurant wants to do that [keep masks and social distancing], that’s their call,” Rumley reminded the community. “You may have some businesses that still feel uncomfortable with going back to normal, and they can do that.”

Rumley continued, “It’s been a little bit over a year since this all started, and just use common sense.”

COVID-19 vaccinations are open to all adults ages 16 and older. To make an appointment at the Dade County Health Department, call (706) 657-4213.

Dade County has seen 20 cases in the past two weeks, for a total of 1,185 COVID-19 cases. The number of cases can be found at https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-19-daily-status-report.

According to Rumley, pavement will be put on County Road 6 this week. He hopes to have an opening date by next week.

The county weekly update is broadcast on Facebook Thursdays at 3 p.m.

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