Child Abuse Prevention Month

Tomorrow at 10:00 am the Children’s Trust Fund of South Carolina, Prevent Child Abuse South Carolina, and Voice’s for South Carolina’s Children will Walk to the Statehouse to kickoff Child Abuse Prevention Month. I was fortunate to be able to serve on the Board of PCSA and can tell you that each and every member works for the betterment of our state’s children.

I’m pleased to be able to read this Proclamation tomorrow on the State House Steps.

WHEREAS, Child maltreatment includes the neglect and physical, sexual and emotional abuse
of a child by a parent, caretaker, or other person responsible for that child’s safety; and

WHEREAS, In 2006-2007, there were more than 17,900 reports of child maltreatment in South
Carolina, 39 percent of which were substantiated, including those resulting in a child fatality; and

WHEREAS, Children who are abused, neglected or abandoned by their parents are at significant
risk of entering the foster care system; and

WHEREAS, The State of South Carolina currently has more than 5,400 children in foster care;
and

WHEREAS, Children in foster care who are unable to return home remain, on average, in foster
care 40.7 months before finalization of an adoption; and

WHEREAS, Preventing child maltreatment strengthens families and is less costly than providing
for the physical, psychological and emotional well-being of children who grow up in foster care;
and

WHEREAS, Our state and federal government leaders recognize that child abuse and neglect are
one of our nation’s most serious public health and welfare problems with evidence that there is a link between child maltreatment and a wide range of medical, emotional, psychological and
behavioral challenges, such as unemployment, homelessness, failure to graduate from high
school, juvenile delinquency, incarceration, teen pregnancy, depression, alcoholism, drug abuse,
severe obesity, and the need for special education services; and

WHEREAS, Preventing child abuse and neglect is a community problem that depends on
involvement of people throughout the state; and

WHEREAS Partnerships among social service agencies, schools, faith-based communities, civic
organizations, law enforcement agencies, and businesses are an important part of effective child abuse and neglect prevention programs; and

WHEREAS, This month, and each thereafter, we ask you to help “PROMOTE STRONG
FAMILIES IN YOUR COMMUNITIES” throughout the year.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Mark Sanford, Governor of the Great State of South Carolina, do
hereby proclaim April 2008 as: Child Abuse Prevention Month.

I urge all citizens to join me in dedicating their energies to cherishing South Carolina’s children
and helping them grow and develop free from neglect and physical, sexual, and emotional harm.