Creating an environment for our families that is safe, happy, and healthy requires the coordinated efforts of multiple community members and various community organizations. In keeping with this principle, EAC Network’s Suffolk County Child Advocacy Center (CAC) teamed up with the Safe Start program on several of its GEICO-sponsored child passenger safety check events to offer parents and caregivers valuable information regarding child wellness.
While law enforcement officials teamed up to help Division Director of Family and Vocational Services Rachel Lugo and SCOPE Supervisor Angela Brockmann inspect dozens of car seats to ensure that all children are traveling safely, CAC Community Educator Alanna Barrera offered caregivers informational pamphlets about how to keep children safe out in the world. With numerous individuals claiming to be first-time caregivers, it was increasingly important to offer each one of them information on how to protect children during the first few years of life.
Topics ranged from alternatives to lashing out at your child and how to talk with your child about sexual abuse, to internet safety and how to find appropriate sources of outside care for your infant and toddler. Raising awareness of the multitude of safety concerns plaguing our children and caregivers is at the heart of programs like Safe Start and the CAC, and engaging in collaborative educational outreach efforts such as this is a great way to start building a sense of civil solidarity and social cohesion.
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Alanna M. Barrera, MPH, has spent the last 3 years working with EAC Network’s Suffolk County Child Advocacy Center (CAC) in the never-ending battle to end child sexual abuse. As the CAC’s Community Educator, Alanna designs and delivers educational workshops that aim to strengthen the community’s knowledge of, and response to, allegations of child abuse. As a lifelong advocate of public health, Alanna is devoted to spreading awareness through trainings and impactful dialogue in the hopes of creating a strong network of support within the community.