Child Abuse Numbers in Alaska are Excessive
The Office of Children's Services received more than 16,000 reports of child abuse last year
ANCHORAGE - The task to protect Alaska’s children from harm isn't getting easier.
Nearly 9,000 of those were investigated. Of those cases, more than half involved children that were found to be either neglected or physically abused.
“There are quiet a few studies that talk about where we rank, as far as different kinds of abuse, for abuse or neglected children, we are ranked fairly high in that area here in Alaska,” said Kim Guay, a child welfare administrator with the Office of Children’s Services.
Last week, a Fairbanks man was charged with assault after Fairbanks police said he threw his girlfriend's two-year-old son onto a bed. The child bounced and hit the floor and died days later as a result of the injuries he sustained.
“A lot of times there are pretty significant factors that happen to abused and neglected children, in the near future and further into the future,” said Guay.
So what can be done? One nonprofit says there is a solution, and it begins at home.
“We already have the foundation we need to build strong families and strong communities, we just have to use a common language to do that,” said Jonathan Teeters, partnerships managers at Best Beginnings.
Best Beginnings has teamed up with other groups to create a five factors Facebook campaign that focuses on family values.
“This isn't about creating new efforts, part of it is about recognizing the strengths that we already have, and sharing those successes, and by doing that we can build more energy,” Teeters said.
It's one tool out of many that could help keep children safe.