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ID Child-Abuse Prevention Campaign Launches As COVID-19 Stresses Families

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With the stress from the pandemic raising concerns about child abuse and neglect, Idaho organizations are coming together to offer parents support.This week, a two-year-old died in an alleged abuse case in Garden City, near Boise.

Speakers from Saint Luke's Health System and Idaho Children's Trust Fund hold a news conference today to unveil their child-abuse prevention campaign.

Roger Sherman, executive director for the Idaho Children's Trust Fund, said kids need us right now.

"There's no shame in feeling overwhelmed, especially at a time like this, when so many of us don't have some of the regular supports that we normally would have," Sherman explained. "Our friends and family are maybe a long way away."

Other organizations involved in the effort include the Blue Cross Idaho Foundation, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, Idaho Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and Micron Foundation.

The urgency to address abuse spiked after two infant deaths in Idaho last year.

The coalition has already released a public service announcement on television and social media with resources for parents.

Sherman noted the changes prompted by the pandemic for families can be debilitating.

"It's a struggle for pretty much everybody," Sherman observed. "And so we've been concerned, with families under a lot of stress, that it's somewhat of a perfect storm for abuse and neglect."

Resources for parents are online at Idahofamilysupport.org. They include urgent help, like mental-health resources, as well as parent and caregiver supports, like the "Crying Baby Plan."

Folks can also call or text the Help Now Line at 986-867-1073.