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Thursday, July 7, 2016

Public Invited to Discuss Child Assault Prevention at County Council Gathering



Sussex County residents are invited to attend one of two meetings of the innovative Project Sussex Kids, the County Council for Young Children designed by the New Jersey Department of Children & Families to address the needs of local families who are expecting or who are parenting young children.  The meetings of the Project Sussex Kids General Council will be held at Project Self-Sufficiency on Wednesday, July 13th, at 9:00 a.m. and again at 6:00 p.m., in order to maximize opportunities for participation by the general public.  Participants will receive an update on Project Sussex Kids activities as well as an overview of the Enough Abuse child sexual assault prevention campaign.  Refreshments will be provided; childcare is available upon request.  Project Self-Sufficiency is located at 127 Mill Street in Newton.

The Enough Abuse Campaign is a cooperative effort of Prevent Child Abuse New Jersey, Project Self-Sufficiency and the Sussex Warren Partnership to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse.  The community-wide education initiative aims to mobilize adults and communities to prevent child sexual assault by increasing awareness of safe practices for potential victims.  Training sessions are offered regularly at Project Self-Sufficiency as well as sites throughout the region.

County Councils for Young Children have been established in all of the state’s 21 counties to bring together parents, caregivers, as well as health, education and social service professionals to enhance communication, coordination and collaboration of services.  The meetings of the General Council are designed to gather information from area residents about their concerns.  Several projects are in the works already, including the creation of a comprehensive resource guide.  Plans to work alongside childcare centers and preschools are being developed.

In addition to joining the General Council, the agency continues to seek volunteers to join workgroups to identify community needs.  Groups meet locally to seek input about health and wellness, safety, community events and other topics.  The groups are divided according to the age or needs of the children in the family, including prenatal, special needs, families of infants, toddlers and preschool-aged children, families of school-aged children, and Spanish-speaking families.  To facilitate participation, meetings are held regionally in Newton, Sussex, Vernon, Hopatcong, Ogdensburg and Montague. 

Project Self-Sufficiency is a private non-profit community-based organization dedicated to improving the lives of low-income families residing in northwestern New Jersey. The agency’s mission is to provide a broad spectrum of holistic, respectful, and comprehensive services enabling low-income single parents, teen parents, two-parent families, and displaced homemakers to improve their lives and the lives of their children through the achievement of personal and economic self-sufficiency and family stability. Since 1986 Project Self-Sufficiency has served more than 20,500 families, including over 30,000 children. 

The Project Sussex Kids General Council Meeting is free and open to the public, but registration is required.  To attend the General Council Meeting or to volunteer to participate in one of the Project Sussex Kids workgroups, call Project Self-Sufficiency at 973-940-3500.  Additional information is available at www.projectsussexkids.org.