Child #abuse #prevention #grabs county #spotlight

The Lawrence County commissioners have proclaimed 2018 to be The Year of Great Childhood.

The commissioners made that proclamation at their meeting Tuesday and presented it to John Bout, executive director of the Children’s Advocacy Center of Lawrence County, a member of UPMC Jameson. Bout brought with him the Great Childhood Quilt, meant to spotlight the center’s Great Childhood Campaign, which runs through June. The quilt is on display at the government center, and will move to UPMC Jameson on May 16.

“It is our Child Abuse Prevention campaign and focuses on giving every child in Lawrence County the opportunity to succeed, laugh, smile, and enjoy life,” Bout said.

“The Children’s Advocacy Center of Lawrence County, a member of UPMC Jameson, is proud to showcase and present to the community for display our Great Childhood Quilt,” Bout said. “Each square was individually designed by a child in our community. Each artistic design represents that child’s image of what a loving supportive and caring childhood looks like to them.

“Our hope is that each child experiences a great childhood. You have the ability through love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and gentleness to provide each child with a great childhood. We hope you enjoy the quilt and remember to love your children.”

Bout thanked board member Carolyn Russo for her 25 years of service to the agency. Other staff members who attended were Jan Wilson, Kathleen Bloom, Erika Stuart and Kathleen Must. Ellwood City Borough Council President Judith Dici also was in attendance.

System partners Bout thanked were District Attorney Joshua Lamancusa, CYS Director William Betz, CYS Deputy Director Frank Merlino, Chief Juvenile Probation Officer Patrick Micco and Chief Deputy Juvenile Probation Officer Carin Majocha. He added special thanks for the commissioners and James Gagliano “for supporting our efforts through the issuing of the proclamation that every child has a great childhood.”

Commissioner Bob Del Signore called the quilt “unbelievable,” and added that “I appreciate everything you folks do for kids.”

Commissioner Steve Craig also praised the organization for its ]work.

“It is hard work; it is work that needs to be done,” he said. “I appreciate the board members who have stuck with you through thick and thin. Here at the county, we were worried about the transition to UPMC, and we are so glad to see that you have landed on your feet and stronger than ever.”

The commissioners also issued a proclamation Tuesday that Friday is to be “Lawrence County Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day” in an effort to raise awareness of the mental health needs of children, youth, and families in the county.

The proclamation reads the commissioners “urge our citizens and all agencies and organizations interested in meeting every child’s mental health needs to unite on that day in the observance of such exercises as will acquaint the people of Lawrence County, Pennsylvania with the fundamental necessity of a year-round program for children and youth with mental health needs and their families.”