GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) Child abuse can happen to any child regardless of age, race, or income. In the U.S., child sexual abuse is reported almost 90,000 times a year. That number does not include unreported cases because children live in fear of talking to someone about being abused. It’s important not only during Child Abuse Prevention Month, but during any time of the year, that resources are accessible for any family and child that may need them. The following resources are available in West Michigan for children and victims of abuse.
Michigan Department of Human Services Abuse & Neglect
“If you suspect abuse or neglect, call 1-855-444-3911 any time day or night. This toll-free phone number allows you to report abuse or neglect of any child or adult to the Michigan Department of Human Services.”
Wedgwood Christian Services
“Wedgwood Christian Services is one of Michigan’s most regarded experts for helping hurting children, youth and families and is dedicated to aggressively taking on the toughest problems facing them today, including: sex trafficking, abuse & neglect, sexual abuse & sexual behavior issues, substance abuse, teen pregnancy, developmental delays, learning difficulties, school expulsions and more.”
Children’s Assessment Center
“Parents can call the Center to request Assessment Services if they have concerns about a child’s behavior, questions about normal development, or for support if they believe their child might have been sexually abused.”
Children’s Trauma Assessment Center (Western Michigan University)
“Serving abused and neglected children and children with prenatal alcohol or drug abuse. The goal of the center is to assess the impact to children following exposure to traumatic events or suspected fetal alcohol exposure. The target population is children, ages 3 months to 17 years, entering foster care due to experiences of child abuse or neglect. Children with other traumatic experiences are also considered for assessment. Evidence-based mental health treatments are also available on a limited basis. We offer professional trainings in trauma-informed assessment and treatment modalities.”
Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services
“Our clinicians are experienced in identifying warning signs and assessing a child’s situation. They can make a preliminary assessment and, if necessary, make referrals to Pine Rest or other agencies.”
SCAN – Pathways, MI
“The Ottawa County SCAN Council is a community based effort to prevent child abuse and neglect in Ottawa County. SCAN helps to coordinate child abuse prevention efforts to ensure we are working together as a community to protect children. We also work to raise awareness of the issue of child abuse in Ottawa County. Pathways, MI is the designated Michigan Children’s Trust Fund Local Child Abuse and Neglect Council for Ottawa County.”
Kalamazoo County Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Council
“Founded in 1976, the Kalamazoo County Child Abuse and Neglect Council (CAN Council) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing child abuse and neglect in Kalamazoo County. We are not a government agency, but we work closely with a wide range of public and private organizations throughout the year. We teach children how to be safe and when to ask for help. We teach parents how to spot the danger signs. We also provide specialized training for teachers, nurses and police so they can identify child abuse and report it quickly.” Kalamazoo County Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Council also offers a Family Help Book, a guide for parents and families.