Kern County Must Protect The Children

Erika Becerril, Staff Writer

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Kern County can and must do better to stop child neglect and child abuse in our communities. Kern County has a responsibility and a duty to commit to try and stop this from happening or happening as often. Not only in our homes, or other homes but everywhere that it plays a role such as churches, clubs and organizations, and businesses. 

 

There is an average of 41 children everyday sent to child protective services with allegations of neglect and abuse in 2018-2019. That is just out of a whole year that it happens. Also, the state of California averaged 11.5 children per 1,000 who referred to CPS with child abuse and neglect allegations when just Kern County averaged 52.9 children per 1,000 children. Therefore, that shows how bad it is considering Kern County isn’t very big. 

 

The Kern County Network for Children works to identify and address the children’s issues, the network has put out a “report card” on the status of children since 2004. The rate of abuse and neglect has only got higher. Children who experience physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, neglect behavior or violence in there homes are most likely to drop out of school, end up in jail, and need public assistance from adults. Abuse and neglect can affect stunted brain growth, which can affect their physical health, the younger the child the higher the risk. 

So what are Kern County officials going to do about this? If the incident meets a legal definition, a social worker is assigned to the case and does and investigation. If they see and know the child is being abused or neglected, they take into action. But, what can we do being apart of the community? We can help to set up clubs and organization, or more. If we know or hear someone is being abused or neglected it is our job to report it for that child’s safety.