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The Greater Bay Area Child Abuse Prevention Council Coalition works to advocate for the well-being and safety of children. As specialists in this field, it is our responsibility and privilege to advocate for the care and safety of children and the families they rely upon, in every community.

In our country today, children of asylum seekers continue to be needlessly separated from their parents and subjected to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and daily neglect.

The ACEs study, conducted by Kaiser Permanente and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention many years ago, was one of the largest investigations of childhood abuse and neglect and household challenges. It proved that early adversity has lasting impacts —the experiences we have as children are a major determinant of our later well-being. ACEs include all types of abuse, neglect, and traumatic events.

Neglect is the failure to meet a child’s basic physical and emotional needs, including housing, food, clothing, and education — exactly what we are doing to the children at the U.S./Mexico border. Social workers visiting detention areas report conditions that no conscientious parent would tolerate.

The health of these small children is at risk and their futures are threatened from their long dangerous journey. Their health is threatened again simply because they entered the U.S. where they are greeted with cruel separations and lack of services.

In addition, families throughout our communities are affected by the fear created by these policies. The Child Parent Institute in Santa Rosa, one of our coalition members, has created an informative tip sheet to help families cope.

Members of the public are invited to download it in English or Spanish at bit.ly/2GerMoA.

This is child abuse, and we ask for a change in U.S. policy to protect immigrant children and reunite them with their families.

Michele Grupe, Chairwoman

Greater Bay Area Child Abuse Prevention Council

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