Originally created 01/08/98

Protocol attacks abuse



Every child will experience some anguish growing up, but intentional attacks suffered at the hands of parents is perhaps the worst.

Richmond County agencies that work with investigating, prosecuting and treating abused children are one step closer to alleviating the obstacles in child abuse cases with the inception of a child abuse protocol.

Representatives from area hospitals, prosecutor's and sheriff's offices, and victim advocacy centers publicly signed a revision of the child abuse protocol Wednesday. It was mandated by state law in 1988.

"No childhood is without adversity," said Lee Bultman, chairman of the protocol committee, but there is nothing worse than the betrayal of those who are children's caretakers.

Over 16 months, 17 people have debated public policy and procedures in how offices and agencies should cooperatively address needs of children and their families.

"Only through cooperation can we adequately and effectively intervene in these children's lives," Mr. Bultman said.

The Richmond County Department of Family and Children's Services receives 2,500 reports of family trouble per year -- proof the problem is local, he said. Nationwide, five children die each day from child abuse.

And although offices such as the district attorney, the health department and the sheriff's department each has its own arsenal of weapons to combat child abuse, each must coordinate and follow a uniform procedure to treat the problem correctly.

The public signing shows Richmond County's dedication to working together for that cause, Mr. Bultman said.

Leaders who signed the protocol included Juvenile Judge Herbert Kernaghan; Linda Johnson, director of the county Department of Family and Children's Services; William Paugh, chief executive of St. Joseph's Hospital; and District Attorney Danny Craig.

BYLINE1:By Meghan Gourley

BYLINE2:Staff Writer

Every child will experience some anguish growing up, but intentional attacks suffered at the hands of parents is perhaps the worst.

Richmond County agencies that work with investigating, prosecuting and treating abused children are one step closer to alleviating the obstacles in child abuse cases with the inception of a child abuse protocol.

Representatives from area hospitals, prosecutor's and sheriff's offices, and victim advocacy centers publicly signed a revision of the child abuse protocol Wednesday. It was mandated by state law in 1988.

"No childhood is without adversity," said Lee Bultman, chairman of the protocol committee, but there is nothing worse than the betrayal of those who are children's caretakers.

Over 16 months, 17 people have debated public policy and procedures in how offices and agencies should cooperatively address needs of children and their families.

"Only through cooperation can we adequately and effectively intervene in these children's lives," Mr. Bultman said.

The Richmond County Department of Family and Children's Services receives 2,500 reports of family trouble per year -- proof the problem is local, he said. Nationwide, five children die each day from child abuse.

And although offices such as the district attorney, the health department and the sheriff's department each has its own arsenal of weapons to combat child abuse, each must coordinate and follow a uniform procedure to treat the problem correctly.

The public signing shows Richmond County's dedication to working together for that cause, Mr. Bultman said.

Leaders who signed the protocol included Juvenile Judge Herbert Kernaghan; Linda Johnson, director of the county Department of Family and Children's Services; William Paugh, chief executive of St. Joseph's Hospital; and District Attorney Danny Craig.