In the past three years, Adams County has reported 1,128 cases of child abuse. The county’s expenditures average $2.5 million per year for protective services and investigations. The COVID impact on children is not yet known due to isolation and remote learning; when children have possibly been home with the person or persons responsible for abuse and void of contact with mandated reporters.

Experts believe when 5 percent of the adults in a community commit to learning about child abuse prevention, it becomes the “tipping point” percentage to reducing community-wide child abuse. Specifically, with an estimated population of 103,852 in Adams County, it takes only 5,192 Adams County adults who are willing to learn about child abuse prevention to have an impact. Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Cathy Harner is a member of the Adams County Children’s Advocacy Center.

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