Area leaders came together at Chaddock in Quincy today to talk about the 2013 Illinois Kids Count Report titled "Moving Policy, Making Progress."
Speakers highlighted three major local issues; early childhood education, abuse and healthcare. Officials from Blessing Hospital say that continued healthcare is especially important.
"I think for kids especially as they're young and developing and issues come up that they have that primary care provider who knows them and is aware of them, can recognize changes and address issues on a consistent basis is very important," said Julie Shepard, the administrative coordinator of care coordination at Blessing Hospital.
Associate Director of Clinical ServicesThomas Donovan says the abuse and neglect rate in Adams County really stood out for him. He thinks the issue revolves around the growing problem of drug addiction in local families.
Donovan says you can see signs of abuse in a lot of different ways. "We're likely to see increases in depressive symptoms, anxiety. We're likely to see physical symptoms. With neglect we may see symptoms of malnourishment. With physical abuse or sexual abuse you may see physical symptoms," he said.
Donovan says awareness is the key to helping children get the help they may need. If you suspect a child is being abused, you can call the abuse hotline at (800) 25-ABUSE.
You can read the entire study at voices4kids.org
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