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April 13, 2012

Community

April: Army Child Abuse Prevention Month

Although child abuse isn’t something that is seen often in the Fort McCoy community, it can and does occur, so it is important people are informed about it, said Terry Rogalla.

Rogalla, Fort McCoy’s Family Advocacy Program (FAP) manager, said the program’s resources are being spotlighted during April, which is Army Child Abuse Prevention Month. Child abuse prevention awareness services are provided in the installation community by the FAP, which is aligned under Army Community Service (ACS).

The Army theme for the month is, “It’s no secret … everyone can help. Keep Army Children Safe and Healthy.”

“ACS offers classes, advocacy services and the opportunity for parents to talk to professionals to get the information they need,” Rogalla said. “We have many things to help people be better parents/caregivers and deal with challenging events in their lives.”

Information is targeted at both adults and youth, he said.

Rogalla said the Monroe County Child Abuse Prevention Task Force, of which FAP is a member, held a contest to design a T-shirt to publicize Child Abuse Prevention Month and received entries from the community’s fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders to incorporate a design and poem about the subject of child abuse.

The winning poem, submitted by sixth-grader Tyler Brandau, reads: “Child Abuse; All children are special! Keep them safe! Treat them nicely. Stop all the madness and sadness. Child abuse is terrible, please stop it! Kids are fragile, protect them!”

During April, FAP also will have resource tables available at several locations with information about child abuse prevention.
Rogalla said these tables will be located at the Community Activity Center, building 2000; McCoy’s, building 1571; and the Exchange, building 1538.

The FAP offers various programs to provide information about parenting skills and child abuse awareness scenarios.

Rogalla said the Military and Family Life Consultant (MFLC) program also provides short-term, situational, solution-focused counseling services to all military (active, reserve and retired), as well as DoD civilian and contracted employees and their Families. MFLC counselors are located right here on Fort McCoy.

Staff members in the installation’s Child, Youth and School Services program receive annual training in child abuse prevention and recognition per Army Regulations. Commanders, senior NCO leaders and installation first responders also receive a FAP brief annually.

FAP’s prevention campaign requests everyone to: “Recognize” signs of distress that can lead to abuse and take action; “Rethink” wellness and ways to stay healthy; “Reach Out” for professional health; and “Report” child abuse and neglect, he said.

Eligible people in the Fort McCoy community, including Soldiers, Department of the Army civilians, contract employees and their Family members can use FAP resources and services, Rogalla said.

For more information about child abuse prevention/awareness and FAP resources, call ACS at 608-388-3505/2412. Information about ACS/FAP and classes is also available at the website http://www.mccoymwr.com/soldier-family-programs/army-community-service.html.

Rogalla said eligible personnel also can be added to the recipient list for the ACS Monthly Newsletter, which lists upcoming classes and events.

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