COLUMBUS, Ga. – Several local law enforcement agencies and organizations are banding together to solve the issue of child abuse and neglect. Men and women from across the Chattahoochee Valley gathered at the Columbus Government Center to re-sign protocol laying out how to deal with reported cases of child neglect in the region.
Judge Gil McBride oversees the Judicial Circuit, which consists of most of the News 3 viewing area. McBride says after an initial agreement was made three years ago, re-signing allows for more organizational efficiency needed to solve the issue of abuse across six different counties.
“In the court system, we probably handle more cases involving families, and especially children, than all of the other cases put together,” McBride said.
Court Appointed Special Advocate coordinator Rosalind Alston says on the heels of the CASA 5K run over the weekend, it’s important to get the community involved in resolving child abuse.
“The community collaboration is key, from the point of initial call being made about the suspicion of child abuse all the way down to the investigation, to if the child may be placed in foster care,” Alston said.
Alston adds that even though some families may struggle financially or an individual may not feel compelled to help children, anyone can play a positive role in reporting child abuse by simply knowing what to do. At the end of the protocol re-signing, participants planted silver and blue pinwheels in the Government Center lawn to represent the 337 children reportedly neglected and abused in the state of Georgia.