Throughout the county, the grueling economy dominates daily political discussions, but less talked about are social effects being seen by local advocacy groups and law enforcement.
April is National Child Abuse Awareness month, and before it passes, it’s important to remember that children often suffer the worst from financial hardships when a family begins to struggle.
“Over the last few months, news outlets from around the country have been linking increasing reports of child abuse and family violence to the sinking economy. The connection makes sense, unemployment and financial hardship create stress, and stress makes it more difficult for parents to meet the demands of raising children,” stated Chenango County Catholic Charities Executive Director Jane Coddington.
The organization’s Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) Coordinator, Tim Hagen, and Child Advocate, Jackie Spencer, agree. Both Hagen and Spencer work hand in hand with local law enforcement and social agencies in handling abuse cases on a regular basis in Chenango.
From their offices at Catholic Charities in Norwich, the multi-disciplinary team coordinates a collaborative effort of a number of agencies including the District Attorney’s Office, Family Court, Probation Department, Sheriff’s Office, the Department of Social Services, Chenango Memorial Hospital, state police and the Norwich PD.