Why my family supports the Care-A-Van for Kids radiothon

The following post was contributed by an anonymous guest author.

I was abused from the ages of 6-17 by my stepdad. He did this at my most vulnerable times, while I was sick, injured or alone. I’d say to myself, “this can’t be real. I have to be going crazy,” and I just buried everything until the next time. He abused my older sister when she was about 10 years old. He was confronted, he denied it and nothing was ever done about it. The physical abuse stopped after she told our mom, but the emotional abuse continued. …Continue reading this post

Mason’s story is a story we should never forget

Babies cry. That’s a fact of life. It’s how we handle the crying that can make a difference for a baby. It could have made a difference for Mason.

  • When a caregiver feels frustrated with a baby or a child, take a break. Put the baby in a safe place like a crib or bassinet. Close the door to the room and call a friend.
  • Talk with your babysitter about how they should handle crying babies or irritating child behaviors. Give him or her permission to call you when they feel frustrated.

April 12, 2005, six years ago, Michelle Maciosek was at work when she received word that her 9-week-old son, Mason, was shaking violently. She immediately went to Children’s …Click here to continue reading

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

We know that most people understand that child abuse is critical problem on par with child poverty. The Child Abuse Prevention Fund is making a difference. By funding services like in home visits for parents interested in having support, we are able to make a significant difference in the lives of children. Throughout April, we will post information about how home visits are making a difference at facebook.com/CAPFund.  In the meantime …Click here to continue reading

Home visitation programs help break cycle of abuse

I was a single mom with two babies under age 1. This is a struggle in itself, and I had a past that was pulling me in the wrong direction.

I am a survivor of child sexual, physical and emotional abuse. My mom spent several years in prison for selling cocaine and for having firearms. Despite this, I loved my mom and was devastated when she left one day and didn’t come back for three years. I was 12 at the time, so I had to help my grandmother raise my sisters and brother.

It wasn’t uncommon that I looked for love in the wrong places, finding myself with two kids and no parenting skills or family support. I was overjoyed to hear of a program that would help me become a better parent. I became involved in the Healthy Families program, a home-visitation program supported by the Child Abuse Prevention Fund at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. These programs work.

Healthy Families taught me how to set goals. The program taught me how to discipline my children in a positive way. I learned what behaviors to expect from my kids at different ages. My support worker, Shirley Wehmeier, was my mentor and coach. She taught me I could do anything.

I got my High School Equivalency Diploma and went to college for a year. I got my driver’s license, a car and a job in an office.

My family is a product of the Healthy Families program. My kids excel at school and are involved in sports and activities. I provide free credit and budget counseling services to people through La Casa de Esperanza and United Way of Waukesha County. I am a bilingual certified tax preparer, a certified notary and a certified housing specialist, doing pre- and post-purchase counseling for first-time home buyers and foreclosure prevention counseling. I also volunteer my time to help build a stronger community. Most importantly, I was able to break the cycle of abuse and my children are happy and healthy.

The Safe at Home campaign raises money to support home visitation programs like Healthy Families. Help families like mine. Visit safe-at-home.org.

~ Gina M. Sanchez

Child abuse prevention program is making a difference

Do you remember when you brought your firstborn home from the hospital? I do, and 15 years later, the memories are as fresh as the hour we were discharged. One word sums up how I felt: overwhelmed. Sitting in the back seat of our car with firstborn in his infant seat, I cried and I wasn’t sure why. Even though I had a good support system – husband, mother, friends, colleagues who are nurses, our pediatrician – I still felt overwhelmed and a little helpless. What am I supposed to do with a new baby? How do I know what he wants or …Click here to continue reading

You can help prevent child abuse

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and a time when we are helping people understand how they can prevent child abuse from occurring in the first place. But we know well that child abuse can happen at any time, to any child.

The problem of child abuse in Wisconsin is staggering. In any given year, more than 40,000 children are reported to authorities as being abused or neglected. And nearly 20 percent of those reports actually are proven. These children could fill every seat at Miller Park or populate a city the size of New Berlin or Brookfield. Most often, the abusers are people the children know, love and trust – family members, siblings, unrelated people living in the home, neighbors. And the list goes on.

…Click here to continue reading