More eyes watching out for child abuse
Fri, 08 Jun 2012 14:56:56 GMT —
According to childhelp.org, a child abuse case is reported every 10 seconds. In light of the issue, Georgia is in-acting a law to include more people as watch-guards.
Under the law, the definition of child service organization personnel has been altered. Now those who volunteer to work with children are also required to report suspected child abuse.
It's something local officials say they've been doing for a while.
"The bulk of the volunteers that actually come to us have prior knowledge and if there is any areas that they are not certain or what signs to look for we seek to provide adequate training as well," says Christi Hodge, Intake Coordinator for Open Arms.
She says indicators of child abuse can range from a small mark to a large bruise and physical appearance isn't the only signs employees are trained to pay attention to.
"If the child has started to exhibit some type of habits of behaviors that they normally would not exhibit those are signs that we told them to look out for," says Christi Hodge.
Those with the Firefly House, a division under the umbrella of the Lily Pad Sane Center, say if the new law helps save one child, it's worth it.
"I do think that maybe it will help to hold people accountable because at the end of the day our main goal is to protect these kids," says Mary Martinez, Firefly House Program Coordinator.
The new law will go into effect on July 1st.