Community members learn how to stop and report child abuse and neglect

Amarillo, Texas

By Sarah Seeley

Child abuse cases in the panhandle are continuing to rise, but some community members now know how to spot and report child abuse and neglect.

The non-profit organization Prevent Child Abuse Texas tells NewsChannel10 every 35 seconds a child is confirmed as abused or neglected and every six hours one of those children dies.

Local community members are working to change that.

Parents, teachers, and child care workers gathered for the Child Abuse and Neglect: It's Everyone's Problem workshop in Amarillo.

"It makes me more aware to recognize the abuse of kids and to know who and where I can report this abuse to at any time of the day," said Kerry Luke, a child care provider in Amarillo.

Anne Porter is opening a daycare in Wheeler.

She brought her entire staff today to learn the importance of understanding child abuse and neglect.

"The awareness brought to you in this class is when he starts showing you pictures of children that have done this and its really sad," said Porter.

Prevent Child Abuse Texas Executive Director Wendell Teltow has spoken about child abuse all around the state, but the graphic reports still amaze him, and they are getting more frequent.

"With the recent economic situation, we're seeing a lot a physical abuse, a lot parents are getting frustrated and throwing their kids up against walls or beating them, because they reach a frustration level at work and they come home and take it out on the kids," said Teltow.

He says the images of kids who suffer affects him every day.

"Child abuse, child death, child neglect, it still tears me up everyday and I've been doing this for 22 years," said Teltow.

He tells NewsChannel 10 that while child abuse reports are going up, child protective services is being stretched even further and more cases aren't getting the attention they need.