Social work students raise awareness to 'Stop the Abuse'

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Social work students raise awareness to 'Stop the Abuse'

April 14, 2010

 Stop the Abuse
Sarah Thompson, Kylene Rehder and Jason Thompson are “Stopping the Abuse” and working with the Woodward Area Coalition to raise awareness about the prevention of child abuse and neglect.
Social work students enrolled in Social Work Field Observation at Northwestern Oklahoma State University have paired up with the Woodward Area Coalition to perform a service learning project raising awareness about the prevention of child abuse and neglect in honor of National Child Abuse Prevention Month this month.

Students have been selling t-shirts with the design of a child’s handprint with the phrase “Stop the Abuse: It’s Your Turn to Make a Difference.” Social work students are encouraging others to wear blue on Fridays in April to raise awareness of the issue of child abuse and neglect in the state of Oklahoma.

Students have sold more than 200 t-shirts, and all proceeds will be donated to the Western Plains Youth Shelter in Woodward.
"This social work service learning project has really opened my eyes to how much a community comes together for a good cause,” Jason Thompson, Buffalo freshman, said.

According to the Oklahoma Department of Human Services Report on Child Abuse and Neglect Statistics there were 8,605 confirmed victims of child abuse and neglect in the state of Oklahoma in 2009.

“Service learning is an excellent opportunity for students to gain hands on experience in the social work field,” Sarah Thompson, Enid senior, said. “Students are then able to apply what they learn to the classroom.”

To report suspected child abuse and neglect, please call the statewide Oklahoma Department of Human Services hotline at 1-800-522-3511.

“We all have a responsibility in learning how to recognize and report child abuse and neglect,” Kylene Rehder, chair of the Social Work Department and assistant professor of Social Work Field Observation, said.

“The prevention of child abuse begins with public awareness and education, and I am so proud of students engaged in this service learning project. They have really learned how to put professional social work skills into practice.”

-NW-