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April 30, 2014

Abbott House, United Way of Norman join forces for child abuse prevention

NORMAN — The Mary Abbott Children’s House recently announced a partnership with United Way of Norman to develop a child abuse prevention program for Norman and the surrounding area.

As efforts shifted from immediate needs to long-term disaster relief for those who were affected by the May tornadoes in central Oklahoma, Abbott House went to United Way of Norman with a concern about the effects of external crises on families.

United Way of Norman responded and pledged to fund Abbott House’s development of a new child abuse and neglect prevention training program to be offered to child and youth serving organizations.

Topics that will be addressed include training staff and volunteers in identifying symptoms of abuse and how to react responsibly, teaching parents how to talk to their children about safety and boundaries and developing agency-wide protocols to create safer environments and prevent abuse from happening.

Through partnerships with schools, churches and community groups in the affected areas, Abbott House hopes to develop relationships and continue to help design and execute tailored programs for abuse and neglect prevention. The agency also will make its facilities available for follow-up support and will act as a liaison between community members and various agencies in its multidisciplinary team.

Abbott House anticipates frequent meetings in the next several months but additionally hopes to be seen as a resource for abuse and neglect prevention and a resource for continued assistance in the development of agency-wide protocols for child safety.

For more information, visit abbott-house.org, email online@abbott-house.org or call 579-5800.

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