By: Roger Sherman, Executive Director of Idaho Children’s Trust Fund
Phew. This has been a year that we will not soon forget. Our work lives have been stressful as we have adapted to working at home. And then, for many of us, we have had to adapt our parenting to accommodate the new norm of online schooling. It has been very hard to find balance between our work and our personal lives.
As the pandemic hit, many of us who are concerned about children’s well-being worried that families would struggle with the isolation and having children at home. We certainly know some of them have and all of us parents have likely felt overwhelmed at times.
We know there have been more than normal infant deaths caused by abuse and FACES has had to respond to more severe cases of abuse than is typical. How to respond?
As the designated child abuse prevention organization for Idaho, the Idaho Children’s Trust Fund, which is also the state affiliate of Prevent Child Abuse America, knew we had to do something to support parents and families. We started working with St. Luke’s Community Health and that soon blossomed into a coalitional effort with Saint Alphonsus, the Idaho Academy of Pediatricians, district health departments, Idaho Voices for Children, childcare and public health divisions within the Department of Health and Welfare.
Working with the communications company 116 and West, we have created a multi-media campaign that we need your help to circulate. The campaign focuses on encouraging parents (including ourselves) to ask for help when they feel overwhelmed and provides them with a call-in number and a resource page to seek help. This will only work if we all get behind it.
While the campaign has some funding to pay for media and some goodwill from the network stations, we are hoping that state employees, the largest workforce in the state, along with employees of the hospitals, Micron and others can use the power of social media to spread the word that asking for help is a strength.
Here’s the pitch: None of us are perfect parents/We all struggle/We all need help sometimes/That’s why we’re here. Call the HelpNow line or go to www.idahofamilysupport.org for resources.
Can you put this out on your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram? Can you send it out to your family, friends and neighbors? We have static images that you can use. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let’s become an army of mandated supporters!