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STATEMENT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: BEN TANZER
(W): 312-663-3520 X823
(C): 312-806-4066

Preschool in its earliest form.

CHICAGO, IL, May 22, 2013 – It’s always exciting when the media reports on innovative programs and initiatives that are aimed at the healthy development of families and the prevention of child abuse and neglect. It’s even more thrilling when they report on proven approaches like the home visiting model we developed, Healthy Families America.

This past Monday’s Washington Post contains a well written profile titled “Home visiting programs are preschool in its earliest form.” It discusses the huge impact that home visiting programs can have on the lives of children and their families and highlights their role in a national plan for universal preschool…another strategy that is good for our nation. 

We believe in the importance of home visiting and commend any effort to increase the visibility of home visiting programs such as Healthy Families America and highlight the ways that these programs can augment the formative years of our nation’s children.

Yet despite the profound successes of home visitation services, many myths continue. Discussions such as a “government takeover of the family,” or home visitation is a service intended to “subsidize people who make lousy choices,” still exist. But let’s talk about what home visiting really is.

Home visiting services are designed to:

- Help parents initiate and maintain a life-long relationship with their child;

- Promote child-child respect even at the toddler stage to decrease the likelihood the child subsequently develops bullying or domestic violence behavior;

- Help new parents address the overwhelming sense of responsibility and importance in raising a child to transition into adulthood as a contributing member of the community;

- Support parents in completing their education and obtaining gainful employment; and

- Most importantly, help families feel connected to their community, a community they live in, and a community which is filled with wonderful community services to help parents be the parents they want to be.

Further, home visitation services are completely voluntary and open to parents of all demographics, ages, and locations.

Our national goal is to create the best environment possible for children in America. We know that the annual cost of child abuse is well over $80 billion. That’s more than $200 million a day spent on something that is preventable. Services like Healthy Families America save taxpayer money and as importantly strengthen the very core of our society…families.

But it’s not just the money that’s important. What’s important is that these families are better equipped to deal with the stresses of parenthood, better informed on the best ways to nurture their child and help them grow, and better able to respond to challenges without harming their child in any way.

So, we’re pleased that the Washington Post helped spread the word about Healthy Families America, but you don’t have to take their word for it, visit healthyfamiliesamerica.org to read testimonials from parents and learn more about how the money to fund the program is spent. After that please share what you’ve learned in your communities and talk to your local media about the importance of home visiting.

“We believe in services like Healthy Families America because they’re proven to build stable, nurturing, and knowledgeable families,” said James M. Hmurovich, President & CEO, Prevent Child Abuse America. “The healthier our families are, the healthier our communities and our nation. We also applaud the parents who are taking steps to do everything they can for their child and the Washington Post for recognizing this as well. My question therefore focuses not on how we make our nation stronger, we know how. My question is why everyone wouldn’t want to make our families stronger, our communities more vibrant, our economy more competitive, and our people more happy. It seems simple to me.”

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ABOUT PREVENT CHILD ABUSE AMERICA
Prevent Child Abuse America, founded in 1972 in Chicago, works to ensure the healthy development of children nationwide. The organization promotes that vision through a network of chapters in 50 states and 580 Healthy Families America, home visitation sites in 40 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and Canada. A major organizational focus is to advocate for the existence of a national policy framework and strategy for children and families while promoting evidence-based practices that prevent abuse and neglect from ever occurring. To learn more about what we’re doing to prevent child abuse and neglect and how you can help, please visit our websites, preventchildabuse.org and healthyfamiliesamerica.org.

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Current news

Jared Fogle and the Roles We Can All Play in the Lives of Children


Jared Fogle and the Roles We Can All Play in the Lives of Children

CHICAGO, IL, August 21, 2015 – When we hear stories like that about former Subway spokesperson Jared Fogle who has been charged with child pornography and child prostitution, it can be shocking. It can cause confusion. It can cause anger. And these reactions make sense.

However, we can’t allow these reactions to prevent us from taking action, because at Prevent Child Abuse America we know – and the research shows – that there are steps that each of us can take that can help prevent a situation like this from happening in the future.

At Prevent Child Abuse America we believe that all children deserve great childhoods because our children are our future. This seems like such a simple sentiment, but it drives our work every day, because it speaks to the many things that we want for our children – all children – and our nation: healthy, productive adults who have a positive impact on the communities they live in.

We’re sure that you want that too, but at the same time recognize that it is often difficult to act without knowing what to do. In light of this story, we’ve compiled some ideas on how you can make a difference in the lives of children and families in your community, and help you turn your natural feelings of anger or confusion into positive and proactive steps that can make a difference.

For parents, please note that the children in this story appear to have been accessed on-line, and so parents, you must be conscientious in monitoring your children’s on-line use. To quote the Six Pillars for Prevention from National Coalition to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation, “Today’s children and youth have never known a world that is not filled with technology. Since technology is now an integral part of all our daily lives, parents must be diligent in who can access our children and youth.”

For ideas about how to do this, you can use resources like “A Parent’s Guide to Internet Safety” from the FBI.

For our communities, we must work together to end the demand for children as sexual commodities. Rather than responding after the harm and focusing on how to reduce risk for potential victims, we have to identify factors that feed demand for children to be viewed as sexual objects in mainstream media, takes away barriers to sexually abusing/exploiting children, makes it easier to access child sexual abuse images or children/teens depictions in pornography and/or children to buy to sexually exploit.

And for our legal system, we must attend to child victims of sex trafficking as victims, not sex workers. Children, by definition are developmentally incapable of giving consent, even if they think they did. They are victims and deserve to be treated as such. The adults who exploited them must be held accountable and the children offered the help they deserve.

On this final point, we want to be clear: we should not be prosecuting kids who are victims, and many states have passed Safe Harbor laws to avoid doing just that. You can learn more about these laws at the American Bar Association.

“As we work at Prevent Child Abuse America to prevent the abuse and neglect of children before it can ever occur,” said James M. Hmurovich, President & CEO, Prevent Child Abuse America, “we look at strategies that can involve everyone from individuals and families to communities and law makers. This troubling story of Jared Fogle has lessons for all of these areas, and in all of these areas there are roles we can, and must, play.”

Announcing Anita Odom as Senior Director of Chapter Services


Announcing Anita Odom as the Senior Director of Chapter Services

Prevent Child Abuse America is pleased to announce the addition of Anita Odom to The National Office Team beginning September 14, 2015. She will assume the responsibilities of the Senior Director of Chapter Services.

Anita is a well-known and respected member of our organization having served as the Executive Director of Prevent Child Abuse Florida for the past four years. Thanks to her work with the Ounce of Prevention Fund and the Prevent Child Abuse chapter in Florida, Anita is experienced and knowledgeable of chapter network operations. Her “can-do” attitude will serve all of us well in this new role.

Anita is a graduate of Janus Pannonius University in Hungary, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in Educational Administration. She is also a graduate of Florida State University, Cum Laude, with a B.S. in Sociology. Prior to beginning her career with the Ounce of Prevention Fund in 2004, Anita worked as a Program Assistant and then Program Coordinator for the National Philharmonie in Hungary.

In addition to serving as the Executive Director of Prevent Child Abuse Florida, Anita is also familiar with our Healthy Families America program thanks to her time working as the Healthy Families Plus Program Coordinator in Florida from September 2006 to September 2011.

Please join me in welcoming Anita to the Prevent Child Abuse America National Office. Anita can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Boris Kodjoe of the 'Boris & Nicole Show' to host Inaugural 'Party for Prevention' at the LA Zoo


Boris Kodjoe of the 'Boris & Nicole Show' to host Inaugural 'Party for Prevention' at the LA Zoo

Special Guest Jessica St. Clair of USA Network’s ‘Playing House’ to also appear at August 29th event to benefit Prevent Child Abuse America and its Calif. chapter

Los Angeles, August 26, 2015 – Boris Kodjoe of “The Boris & Nicole Show,” “Last Man on Earth,” “Real Husbands of Hollywood” and “Soul Food” will headline the inaugural Party for Prevention at the LA Zoo on Saturday, August 29, from 1:00 to 4:00pm. Joining Kodjoe as a Special Guest will be Jessica St. Clair, creator and co-star of USA Network’s, “Playing House.” Proceeds from the event will benefit Prevent Child Abuse America and Prevent Child Abuse California to help ensure great childhoods for all children nationally and in Southern California. 

Designed to encourage playful interaction between parents and their children, this event will feature a range of engaging activities for parents and kids, visits from several of the zoo’s animals, lunch, dessert, silent auction and raffle. Many companies have come together to make this event possible, including lead sponsor NBCUniversal and media partner Angeleno Magazine. To purchase tables and tickets to the 2015 “Party for Prevention” at the LA Zoo, visit www.preventchildabuse.org/LA2015. 

“I am very proud to associate with and support these two wonderful organizations,” said Kodjoe. “As a father of two, I can think of nothing more important than giving my children, and all children across the country, every opportunity to enjoy a healthy and happy childhood and the chance to lead full and productive lives.”

Added St. Clair, “As an actress, comedian and writer I play many roles, but none more important than that of ‘mom.’ When I come home, no matter what kind of day I have had on the set, I am just ‘mom;’ and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Half of this event’s proceeds will benefit Prevent Child Abuse California to make a difference among children and families in and around Los Angeles. Added Prevent Child Abuse California President & CEO, Sheila Boxley, “Our responsibility is to be of service to and a voice for all children and families throughout California. This event will help us pursue that ambition in the Los Angeles area. We look forward to launching this new event and helping it grow over time.”

Support has also been generously provided by the Kappa Delta Private Foundation, Toyota Motor Sales LA, Tejon Ranch, Latham & Watkins and Psomas.

“Each of us plays an important role in ensuring that all children have a great childhood because our children are our future,” said Prevent Child Abuse America President and CEO, James M. Hmurovich. “Through this event, our guests, sponsors and Boris are doing their part and taking our shared responsibility to the next generation very seriously. I cannot thank them enough for their support.”

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