MADISONVILLE, Ky. (4/3/13) – April is the National Child Abuse Prevention Month, where we can recognize and play a part in promoting the emotional and social well-being of our children and families within our communities.
The Hopkins County Family Advocacy Center, located on 228 South Main Street, is a nonprofit organization that offers programs that address issues facing children and families in our community.
Their mission is to empower individuals, families and communities to put children first. Their vision is to have a caring and concerning community that will honor the worth and spirit of our children at all times. Mandy Hargis, the Executive Director for the FAC stated, “We’ve been here since 1984. The FAC started out with parenting and personal body safety classes with a group of nurses, attorneys and different people within the community recognized that there was an issue. We are the only child abuse prevention agency in this area. We cover everything from physical abuse to educational neglect cases.”
The FAC offers programs such as; Personal Body Safety, Parenting Classes, Shaken Baby Awareness, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), Crisis Counseling, and Emergency Childcare. “These programs have been around since between 1984 and 1988, and CASA came in 1997. Everything we have been doing has been going on for decades and these programs continue to grow and evolve every day,” stated Hargis.
This month, the FAC is offering additional one time only sessions of parenting classes for those who are stepping into parenting roles. “We are seeing more grandparents, and other family members who aren’t the biological parent who are stepping into the role of being a parent,” expressed Hargis. The FAC staff also offers child abuse prevention and awareness presentations to businesses, churches, schools, or to anyone who is interested in learning more pertinent information on all the different aspects of child abuse.
In getting the Awareness out to the community, the FAC will be having their 3rd Annual “Care-a-Cadabra” family fun magic show on Saturday April 20th from 2:00pm-4:00pm at the Byrnes Auditorium. They will also be having their 4th Annual “Stand Against Abuse” in front of the old courthouse on Main Street on Tuesday April 23rd from 12:15pm-1:15pm. The FAC is also taking orders for their “Pinwheels for Prevention,” which is free of charge. “We use to sell the pinwheels but we don’t anymore. We take orders for those who are interested in getting the word out by placing the pinwheels out front of their houses, churches, schools or businesses,” stated Hargis.
For more information about child abuse and neglect or interested in being a CASA worker, ordering pinwheels or if you would like someone to come and present, you can call the office at (270)825-1582. Their business hours are Monday-Friday from 8:30am-4:30pm.
Mandy Hargis would like the community to know, “We have an amazing community around us and they support us. They see the problem, recognize the problem and know it takes a whole village to fight against child abuse and neglect.”
Photos Provided by Amber Mena
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