Lehigh County Health & Medicine Fall/Winter 2020 - 19

L C M E D S O C .O R G

One of the main reasons for the lack of
" These are unprecedented times; even unreported, suspected abuse is that there is limited der normal circumstances, parents can feel
to no contact between children and mandated overwhelmed and anxious, putting children
reporters, who make the majority of the reports. at risk, " states Tomlinson. " Our goal is to put
Mandated reporters are individuals who work families first and de-stigmatize asking for help.
in areas where they have some direct contact There are resources available that can strengthen
with children, like teachers, counselors and individuals and families and help keep kids safe. "
physicians, and are required within their job
description and job duties to contact the child
As part of the campaign, parents are enwelfare hotline when they have a suspicion or couraged to practice self-care and ask for help
concern of child abuse or neglect. 
before hurting someone they love. Additionally,
members of the community are called upon to
With limited direct contact between children pay close attention and ask questions. If they
and mandated reporters due to pandemic-related see something or have concerns, they should
school and child care closures and shifts to report their concern and connect a struggling
virtual or hybrid learning, dozens of community family with help.
groups have come together to launch a campaign
aimed at building awareness around community
" When a family member, neighbor or friend
action and family support to prevent child calls the hotline to report their suspicion of
abuse and neglect.
child abuse or neglect, it does not necessarily
mean automatic removal of the children, " states
" It takes a community to keep kids safe, " said Tomlinson. " Rather, it connects the family with
Beth Tomlinson, Senior Director of Education resources with the ultimate goal of keeping
for United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley. children safe and families together. "
" We need everyone in our community to know
and understand the warning signs of abuse and
According to Child Welfare Information
neglect, and we need parents to know that it's ok Gateway, child maltreatment can be linked
to ask for help as well as where to turn for  help. " to later physical, psychological and behavioral
consequences as well as costs to society as a whole.
Tomlinson is leading the effort through By reducing the incidence of child abuse and
Resilient Lehigh Valley, a regional collaborative neglect through primary prevention approaches,
focused on building a trauma-informed Lehigh and providing comprehensive, trauma-informed
Valley where all kids are safe and supported. A care when it does occur, communities can limit
coalition of educators, mental health specialists its long-term consequences.
and local government, Resilient Lehigh Valley
has been working with community partners
" We are all in this together. There are direct
to build awareness of individual's responses to societal impacts from childhood trauma, so if
everyday stressors that could potentially lead to for no other reason than to build a stronger
abuse or neglect. This is especially important community, everyone must lean in and do
now during the COVID-19 pandemic. Stress their part to help support families and protect
during this global crisis may be especially high children, " notes Tomlinson.
for parents, many of whom are charged with
educating children from home, along with
The Child Abuse Prevention and Mitigation
maintaining jobs, dealing with a loss of income Campaign is a multi-faceted marketing effort
and juggling other responsibilities. Students may using social media, television PSAs, website and
also be stressed in new ways, such as the extended print-ready outreach materials to raise awareness
time learning in a different environment or around this important community issue. The
being away from their teachers and peers for goal of the campaign is to connect with as
months. Throughout this time, loved ones may many people as possible, raising awareness of
feel more anxious, frustrated or stressed.
the risk and offering a potentially life-saving
solution - making the call.

It is important to note that there can be
hope and healing beyond the hurt. The keys to
resilience in youth are having a safe, supportive
relationship with an adult, opportunities to learn
and grow, and trauma-informed counseling
and supports. Prevention is also crucial and
Resilient Lehigh Valley seeks to educate parents,
caregivers and educators on best practices that
can decrease anxiety and stress and increase
healthy coping and parenting skills. Mindfulness
and social emotional learning are important
tools to assist individuals in the practice of
self-care, coping and mitigating stress. Visit
www.resilientlehighvalley.com for lessons and
resources and follow @ResilientLV on Facebook
and Twitter.
Resilience is defined as the capacity to
recover quickly from difficulties. A program
of United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley,
Resilient Lehigh Valley is a cross-sector coalition
dedicated to creating a trauma-informed and
resilient Lehigh Valley by:
· Providing trauma awareness and
trauma-informed practices training
to any and all interested agencies
and community groups.
· Creating a community awareness
campaign to raise awareness
of trauma, its impact on brain
development and tips on building
resilience.
· Sharing best practices
in trauma-informed care and
resiliency-building strategies
· Advocating for traumainformed legislation, policies
and funding streams with our
state legislature.
·  Aligning existing resources and
securing new resources to provide
more resiliency.

FALL / WINTER 2020 | Lehigh County Health & Medicine 19


http://www.LCMEDSOC.ORG https://sites.google.com/lehigh.edu/resilientlehighvalley/home http://www.resilientlehighvalley.com https://sites.google.com/lehigh.edu/resilientlehighvalley/home

Lehigh County Health & Medicine Fall/Winter 2020

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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/LehighCountyHealth_Medicine/LCHMFall_Winter20
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/LehighCountyHealth_Medicine/LehighCountyHealthMedicineSummer2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/LehighCountyHealth_Medicine/LCHM_Spring20
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/LehighCountyHealth_Medicine/LCHM_Winter19
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/LehighCountyHealth_Medicine/LCHM_Fall19
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/LehighCountyHealth_Medicine/LCHM_Summer19
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/LehighCountyHealth_Medicine/LCHM_Spring19
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/LehighCountyHealth_Medicine/LCHM_Winter18
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/LehighCountyHealth_Medicine/LCHM_Fall18
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/LehighCountyHealth_Medicine/LCHMSummer18
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/LehighCountyHealth_Medicine/LCHMSpring18
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/LehighCountyHealth_Medicine/LCHMWinter2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/LehighCountyHealth_Medicine/LCHMWinter18
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/LehighCountyHealth_Medicine/Fall2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/LehighCountyHealth_Medicine/LCHMSummer2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/LehighCountyHealth_Medicine/LCHMSpring2017
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com