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October 15, 2013

Child Protection Advisory Council Launches Web Page

MEXICO - The Oswego County Child Protection Advisory Council has developed a web page on the Oswego County government web site to provide information and resources for parents and community members. The site includes links to information about signs of physical abuse, tips for assessing children at risk, parenting tips, and information for mandated reporters.

The new web page is one of the accomplishments highlighted in the council's recent report to the Oswego County Legislature's Human Services Committee, which oversees the Department of Social Services. The web page can be found at www.oswegocounty.com/dss/cpac

"The Child Protection Advisory Council has been immensely helpful to the Department of Social Services," said Legislator Shane Broadwell, District 17, Oswego, chairman of the Human Services Committee. "Members have developed a number of activities and programs that continue to promote and sustain child safety and well-being in Oswego County. The council's valuable input helps the Department of Social Services meet the needs of families in our community through outreach and education and by supporting partnerships among human service agencies."

The council was formed by the County Legislature in 2010 to strengthen the child protective system. Members are appointed by the County Legislature and represent social service agencies, schools, civic organizations, churches, and the community.

"Oswego County is keeping up with the standards of best practices set by researchers and success of programs," said chairwoman Karrie Damm, director of the Oswego County Child Advocacy Center in Fulton. "Over the past 12 months, CPAC has solidified its mission as an advisory council and its role with the Department of Social Services and Child Protective Services. Working with the County Public Information Office we developed a web presence that focuses on child protective tips, signs of child abuse, how to make referrals, and other information about the council. The council meets monthly and regularly reviews complex cases presented by child protective staff and case workers. This is a valuable opportunitythat gives our members a clear understanding of the challenges of child protective investigation and family and youth service cases."

Over the past year the council has also been involved in developing a cross system collaborative group of human service agencies and others interested community education for change, including SUNY Oswego's Rainforest Project.

"Outreach and education continue to be an essential goal of the Child Protection Advisory Council," said Damm.

In addition to Damm, members include Jeffrey Grimshaw, vice chair, SUNY Oswego Business and Community Relations; Marshall Marshall, superintendent, Pulaski Academy and Central School District; Geri Geitner, director of support services, Fulton City School District; Ann Gilpin, CEO, Oswego Health; Diane Cooper-Currier, executive director, Oswego County Opportunities; Jodi Mullen, Ph. D., director of Integrative Counseling and SUNY Oswego professor; Melanie Trexler, executive director, United Way of Oswego County; Dr. Dennis Mullaney, physician, Watertown; Rev. John Canorro, pastor, St. Anne Mother of Mary Church, Mexico; Melissa Parkhurst, foster parent; Annemarie Muller, social worker, Phoenix School District; and alternate members Stacy Austin-Root, Child Advocacy Center; and June Rickli, Integrative Counseling Services. Social Services Commissioner Gregg Heffner, County District Attorney Greg Oakes, Assistant District Attorney Mark Moody, Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang, and DSS Director of Services Christine Patrick serve as ex-officio members.

In addition to Legislator Broadwell, members of the Human Services Committee include Ronald Sakonyi, District 5, Constantia, vice chairman; Shawn Doyle, District 3, Pulaski; Daniel Farfaglia, District 24, Fulton; James Karasek, District 22, Granby and Fulton; Margaret Kastler, District 1, Sandy Creek; Douglas Malone, District 20, Town of Oswego; and John Proud, District 7, Mexico.

Anyone suspecting abuse or maltreatment should report it to the NYS toll free hotline at 1-800-342-3720. If you think a child is in immediate danger, call 911 or the local police department.


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