April is Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month.

There is nothing more heartbreaking than the troubling fact that so many children are victims of abuse or neglect. There were 11,077 confirmed cases of child abuse or neglect in Oregon in 2017.

Fortunately, there are dedicated professionals who are working every day to address the needs of these children and their families.

In our community, Liberty House is a leader in this area. We are fortunate to work with them, and want to honor Liberty House as one of our Community Partners of the Month for April 2019.

Liberty House is a child abuse assessment center serving Marion and Polk counties. Liberty House was founded in 1999 and served 165 children that year. Twenty years later, it is projected that they will serve nearly 1,000 children in 2019.

Salem-Keizer Public Schools Prevention and Protection Coordinator Debbie Joa with our Human Resources Department says that Liberty House is a place that we can refer families if there are concerns about child abuse or neglect, or if they need counseling services.

Childhood trauma, if left untreated, can prevent children from achieving their full potential and their dreams, says Liberty House CEO Alison Kelley. But most children can heal with the right therapeutic intervention.

Liberty House also supports Salem-Keizer by training staff through its Stewards of Children program, and has assisted teachers by visiting classes and talking with students about child abuse and teen relationship abuse.

Thank you Liberty House for the important work you do for children and families. Congratulations as being recognized as one of our Community Partners of the Month for April 2019.