Sojourner Family Peace Center: Making an important family resource a reality

Sojourner Family Peace Center: Making an important family resource a reality

Rendering of the Sojourner Family Peace Center building opening in 2016

How do we make Wisconsin’s children the healthiest in the nation?

At Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, that is our vision. To everyone who works here, those are more than words, and we strive to improve the health of all children each and every day. We are making progress.

How do we do it? We don’t do it alone. Our work takes us into the community where we partner with organizations with the same commitment to kids. Through our partnerships with …Continue reading →

How you can keep kids safe from sexual abuse

The Penn State sexual abuse scandal has shown there are horrific consequences when adults fail to take action to protect children. When NCAA President Mark Emmert announced the sanctions against the university, he said they should serve as “a stark wake-up call for everyone involved in college sports.”

I would like to think this not only wakes up college sports, but all of us as well. We need to recognize that we all are responsible for protecting children from sexual abuse. To keep the kids in your life safe, remember to: …Continue reading →

Leaving your child home alone: How old is old enough?

Summer is half over. Are you starting to hear your kids say things like, “I’ll be fine at home, I don’t need to go to camp?” When my son was 11 years old, he wanted to spend the summer home and not at day camp. My husband and I both work, and we weren’t comfortable with the idea. We sent him to camp that summer and the summer after that too, but his request did give us food for thought. We began to consider the right age to …Continue reading →

Hot cars aren’t cool: Tips to keep your family safe in warm weather

This weekend’s warm weather reminded me that it’s time for a very important message: Never leave your children alone in the car.

I know why it happens. Your child is sleeping, and you don’t want to wake him or her. You’ll only be in the store a minute. But let’s be realistic. What you think will be a minute usually turns into 10 or 15 minutes. Did you know the temperature in a car can rise nearly 20 degrees in the first 10 minutes? According to the National Highway Transportation and Safety Board (NHTSB), even when the temperature only is 60 degrees Fahrenheit outside, the temperature inside your car can get up to 110 degrees.

Follow these tips to help keep your family safe in warm summer weather: …Continue reading →

How child abuse changed the lives of Marge and Chip

I hear a lot of heartbreaking stories about child abuse. You might think this would make my job difficult, and sometimes it does. But people often share their stories because they’re proud of the lives they lead now and who they’ve become. They believe strongly in the important work Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin does through child abuse prevention and intervention programs.

One such couple, Marge and Chip, wanted me to share their stories with you. …Continue reading →

I am the second oldest of 16 kids, and we were all abused

If my mother had gotten help, today I would be one of 16 emotionally and physically happy adults. But that’s not the case.

If my mother had gotten help, today 21 grandkids wouldn’t have to be constantly watched to make sure they don’t face the same issues. But that’s not the case.

I’m often asked if I would change the way I grew up. You’d think I would, but that’s not the case. I wouldn’t, because now I’m happy with who I am. Now I find myself with a unique …Continue reading →

Child abuse changes lives of children and parents

Diane and Tom Arenberg

Diane and Tom Arenberg

In 1990, we felt we had it made. Nice careers, two beautiful girls and a third one on the way. What could go wrong? Then the sky fell. We discovered that a babysitter had sexually molested our oldest daughter. It felt like we had fallen into a dark cave. How could this happen to us? Somehow it got worse. We experienced the legal system protecting the molester by attacking our lifestyle and accusing others of the …Continue reading →

Childhood experiences shape your future

Experts say that childhood experiences shape not just the child but also the adult. Think about your own childhood. Was it happy? Did you know the adults in your life loved you? What are the things that help you know you grew up in a loving home?

Many of us think we’ve had a mostly positive childhood experience with a few dips on the experience curve. For me, those dips are mostly related to the death of my beloved pets or the first time a boy broke my heart. But for some people, those dips are significant and …Continue reading →

How efforts to prevent child abuse are making an impact on children and families

Back in November 2010, I wrote a blog post about home visiting and how, as a new mom back in 1995, I could have used the support of someone coming into my home to help me understand my newborn baby and my feelings of being overwhelmed. Since then, I’ve come a long way as a mom in understanding how to parent and where to go for information and support. Just as I’ve come a long way, so has the field of child abuse …Continue reading →

Why Penn State is a reminder that all adults have a duty to protect kids from sexual abuse

The recent situation at Penn State reinforces what we already know. Statistics show that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually assaulted before their 18th birthday. Less than 10 percent of these children will ever tell anyone what happened to them.

In the Penn State case, reports indicate that someone witnessed the abuse, yet apparently never told the police who could have investigated and taken action to prevent this from happening to other children. …Continue reading this post