County officials spread awareness to fight child abuse
by James Phillips
Apr 03, 2012 | 1181 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
More than 400 reports of child abuse were reported to the Walker County Department of Human Resources last year. Of those reports, 120 indicated there was actual abuse or neglect. Those numbers have local officials working to spread awareness of the problem.

Representatives from Walker County DHR, the Walker County Children’s Policy Council and the Walker County District Attorney’s Office spoke before the Walker County Commission Monday morning. Commissioners voted to recognize April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.

“It’s disturbing that people would abuse children,” Commission Chairman Bruce Hamrick said. “It hurts me to hear the stories, and it is an honor to approve this proclamation.”

Randy Redmill, DHR director for Walker County, said his staff of two assessment workers investigates all reports of abuse in the county and makes contact within five days on 92 percent of cases reported.

“We want to make sure children are as safe as possible as quickly as possible,” Redmill said.

District Attorney Bill Adair said child abuse — physical and sexual — is an “epidemic” in Walker County. He said 30 cases of small children being abused in Walker County since Jan. 1 have been handled by Prescott House, a Birmingham-based child advocacy center.

“In those cases, almost all of them will lead to someone being prosecuted for child abuse,” Adair said.

Adair said Child Abuse Prevention Month means a lot to victims of child abuse but also to people who work with victims.

“We see the worst of humanity,” he said. “It means a lot to us for the commission to show their support.”

For more information or to report child abuse, contact Walker County DHR at 205-387-5400.