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NATIONAL CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION PROGRAM TO PROMOTE "HEALTHY FAMILIES AMERICA"

 NATIONAL CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION PROGRAM TO PROMOTE
 "HEALTHY FAMILIES AMERICA"
 CHICAGO, Sept. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- This weekend, millions of Americans will watch a breakthrough documentary, "Scared Silent: Exposing and Ending Child Abuse," hosted by Oprah Winfrey. All three networks and PBS will air this one-hour special.
 "This is probably the single-most powerful, important, positive and encompassing piece about child abuse," according to Anne Cohn Donnelly, D.P.H., executive director of the National Committee for Prevention of Child Abuse (NCPCA). "We hope that this program can help galvanize support for child abuse prevention programs."
 In fact, NCPCA has recently teamed up with Ronald McDonald Children's Charities (RMCC) to help reduce the occurrence of child abuse nationwide.
 RMCC has committed $1 million over three years to help NCPCA facilitate the national rollout of a model child abuse prevention program called "Healthy Families America."
 "Healthy Families America," which is based on a Hawaii program created under the leadership of the Hawaii Family Stress Center and the State Department of Maternal & Child Health, focuses on voluntary home visitation by a paraprofessional to at-risk families.
 In a recent report, the U.S. Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect, declared child abuse a national emergency, and singled out this Hawaii program as a critical first step in preventing it.
 "Since 1987, the home visitation model has contributed to a significant reduction in the number of child abuse reports throughout Hawaii involving physical abuse of children under five," according to Donnelly. "In fact, their research shows that child abuse was virtually nonexistent in the population that received the home visitations."
 Donnelly added, "RMCC's grant will allow us to share this highly effective program with the rest of the country."
 "We share NCPCA's belief that the provision of educational and support services to parents via home visitation does prevent child abuse," said Ken Barun, vice president and executive director of RMCC.
 The goal of the national rollout of "Healthy Families America" is to help teach as many states as possible how to build a network of people and organizations who are willing to establish home visitor services.
 NCPCA is now assisting more than 35 states in setting up their own home visitation program based on the Hawaii model. (Each state will replace the "America" in the umbrella name of the program to make it their own, i.e. "Healthy Families Iowa.")
 In 1991, almost 2.7 million reports of child abuse and more than 1,300 child abuse-related fatalities were documented nationwide, according to NCPCA.
 According to NCPCA, a good home visitor program can cost as little as $2,000 a year per family. On the other hand, studies have shown that costs can be nearly double for the welfare and services needed by high risk families who do not receive early intervention services.
 NCPCA is a volunteer based organization dedicated to involving all concerned citizens in the prevention of child abuse. NCPCA, founded in 1972, offers many programs to accomplish the mission of preventing child abuse in all its forms.
 Since 1984, Ronald McDonald Children's Charities has awarded nearly $58 million to more than 1,550 organizations servicing children. Established in memory of McDonald's Corp. founder Ray A. Kroc, RMCC helps young people lead healthier, happier and more productive lives by funding programs in the areas of health care and medical research, including Ronald McDonald House; education and the arts; and social and civic concerns.
 -0- 9/2/92
 /CONTACT: Joy Byers of NCPCA, 312-663-3520, or Brian Davis of RMCC, 312-836-7177/ CO: NCPCA, RMCC ST: Illinois IN: SU:


LD -- NY080 -- 6178 09/02/92 20:15 EDT
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Date:Sep 2, 1992
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