Goal is not to prevent discipline

To the Editor:

The goal of Child Protection is not to prevent parents from disciplining their children. In fact, we encourage appropriate discipline and boundaries for children from a young age. An absence of these rules will often result in unruly teens in the future. It is much harder to put rules in place later if they have not been consistent before. Discipline that results in the leaving of a mark on a child is by law considered abuse. Morrison County Social Services’ Alternative Response Program approaches families with a supportive attitude. We assist the family in problem solving so that the line of abuse is not crossed again when trying to administer discipline. Each family has strengths to build upon to create a stronger family. There are many community services that are willing to support this goal. In 2004, Morrison County conducted 103 child abuse assessments, 61 of those assessments were conducted using alternative response. One-third of those 103 assessments were due to physical abuse of a child. There are many efforts underway in Morrison County to support these kids and families.—Melanie Hagstrom Beseman, Social Services Supervisor.

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