Kalamazoo CAN is focused on one over-riding goal: preventing child abuse before it happens. Working with concerned citizens like you, we pursue our mission in five primary ways:
- Practical, age-appropriate education programs for both children and adults
- Specialized training for mandated reporters (e.g., doctors, nurses, teachers, police)
- Public awareness campaigns using a variety of media (print, video and online)
- Special events and outreach activities, often in partnership with other local groups
- Working with local and state government officials to advance public policy on this issue
We think you'll agree that ultimately it's far better to prevent child abuse and neglect than it is to deal with the painful consequences later. (Find out why.)
Of course, learning about child abuse and neglect is just the beginning. We also invite you to become part of the "prevention solution" by volunteering your time or becoming a member of Kalamazoo CAN. To get involved, click on one of the links above or call our office at (269) 552-4430.
To report a suspected case of child abuse or neglect, please call the Kalamazoo County Child Protective Services (CPS) at 1-855-444-3911 or click here now. To learn more about the Michigan Dept. of Human Services child abuse and neglect program, click here now.
Here's a quick look at our current programs and services in the local community. For more information, or to find out how you can help, please call the Kalamazoo CAN office at (269) 552-4430.
Mandated Reporter Training
The Michigan Child Protection Law requires certain professionals to report their suspicions of child abuse or neglect to Children's Protective Services (CPS) at the Department of Human Services (DHS). These people are called
"mandated reporters" and have established relationships with children based on their profession. Examples include teachers, doctors, nurses, police, counselors, clergy and social workers. (Read more about the law.)
Kalamazoo CAN provides specialized training seminars for mandated reporters so they can identify the warning signs of child abuse, protect children and respond appropriately. The identity of a reporting person is confidential under the Child Protection Law. However, mandated reporters who fail to act may be subject to civil or criminal liability. That's why it's important for all mandated reporters to be fully trained in the requirements of the law and the best ways to fulfill their responsibilities.
To read the full list of mandated reporters in Michigan and find out more about this important law, please click here now or call the Kalamazoo CAN office at (269) 552-4430.
"Be a LIFESAVER" Campaign.
The 2014 Be a Lifesaver Campaign was a huge success. The campaign raised over $7,000 through donations solicited by volunteers and sponsors. Kalamazoo CAN would like to extend a warm thank you to all of the wonderful volunteers and sponsors who contributed to this event.
Funds raised through the "Be A Lifesaver" campaign will help to prevent child abuse and neglect in Kalamazoo County for programs such as: "Never Shake A Baby" educational campaign, "Kids Are Special" sexual abuse prevention program, "You Are Special" sexual abuse prevention coloring books, "Baby Think it Over" computerized doll parenting experience, "Family Help Book" free community resource guide and many more.
The 2016 Be A Lifesaver Campaign is scheduled for April 15, 16, and 17. Please stay tuned for more details on how you can be a part of this event!
"Kids Are Special" Pre-School Education Program (Ages 3-6)
The "Kids Are Special" Program is an age appropriate free program developed for young children to learn short, simple techniques to protect themselves when in unsafe situations. Children learn they have a right to be safe.
The 20 minute program focuses on the "No, Go, Tell" motto and uses an engaging, informative approach that emphasizes, "It's My Body". The use of special puppets and songs helps children relate to and retain the message. Kids are taught to "talk to an adult person they trust" if they are unsure about their feelings, or if they are confused about the kind of touches they are receiving.
The "Kids Are Special" Program builds self-esteem and teaches kids to say "NO" to those "tricky" adults who practice bad touch and also other children who may bully them.
The "Kids Are Special" Program is taught by Program Educators Cathy Hosner. Kalamazoo CAN would like to extend a warm thank you to the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation for its financial support.
To learn more about this program for preschoolers, or to find out when the next event will be held, please call the Kalamazoo CAN office at (269) 552-4430.
"Kids Are Special" Coloring Book
The "You Are Special" coloring book was developed to help children see themselves in a positive way. The recommended age group is Kindergarten through elementary school. "Kids Are Special" coloring books are given to each student who attends the "Kids Are Special" Program We recommend that parents use this book to help reinforce the important topics discussed during the "Kids Are Special" Program.
For more information, please call Kalamazoo CAN at (269) 552-4430.
"Ready, Set, Succeed!" Program for New Parents
"Ready, Set, "Succeed" is a free parenting program for new parents with children ages 0-6. It's designed to help children succeed in life by teaching parents about child development, early education and other essential parenting skills. (Learn more.) Presented by KRESA (Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency) in association with Kalamazoo CAN and local school districts, the program includes free home visits, local "great start" playgroups and free childhood screenings.
"Ready, Set, Succeed!" is available for families in the following school districts: Climax-Scotts, Comstock, Galesburg-Augusta, Gull Lake, Kalamazoo, Parchment, Schoolcraft, Portage and Vicksburg. To learn more about this valuable program, click here now or call the Kalamazoo CAN office at (269) 552-4430.
"Never Shake a Baby" Campaign
We know that most parents would never intentionally hurt a child, but they may not know about the dangers of shaking or tossing. Young children are particularly vulnerable to serious injury, and even death, from shaking. That's why Kalamazoo CAN is so committed to educating the public through our "Never Shake a Baby Campaign." (Learn more.)
In addition to a wide variety of printed materials, we offer two special short videos to help parents, caregivers and family members understand this important topic. One video deals with the issue of stress in child-rearing, including testimonials from other parents about the frustrations that they have had with crying infants and options for coping with these frustrations.
You're also invited to request a special nursery doorknob hanger with helpful tips and guidelines for both parents and caregivers. To inquire about our video library or to request printed materials, visit our Resources page now.
To learn more about our "Never Shake a Baby" campaign, click here now. Or you may call the Kalamazoo CAN office at (269) 552-4430.
Safe Sleep Campaign
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is one of the leading causes of death among babies in Kalamazoo County. (Learn more.) Working with state and local health officials, we help educate parents, caregivers and medical professionals about this critical issue. The "Safe Sleep" campaign has reached thousands of people in our area through free presentations, workshops, printed literature and public service advertising.
If you are a new parent, or you know someone who is, we strongly encourage you to contact our office at (269) 552-4430 for free literature on SIDS prevention or a presentation.You may also reach the "Healthy Babies, Healthy Start" FIMR program coordinator at (269) 373-5090. (Learn more about SIDS.)
Kidpins is a public awareness project of the Michigan Children's Trust Fund and the Kalamazoo Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Council. We know you will find these to be the most unusual, adorable, irresistible pins you've ever seen!
No two pins are alike. Each comes pinned to a card with its own story drawn from the countless situations of abuse that children can and do suffer. You may purchase a pin that represents a baby, toddler, boy or girl for $12 each, or two for $20 (plus shipping and handling).
Order your pins early, as we know these will move very fast. To place your order, please call the Kalamazoo CAN Council at (269) 552-4430. Or send an e-mail message to info@KalamazooCAN.com.
Casual for a Cause
Does your company have "Casual for a Cause" days to benefit local non-profit agencies and boost moral of its staff? If not, would you like to help in the prevention of child abuse and neglect in your local community while dressing more comfortably?
Kalamazoo CAN makes it simple to implement such an event. We provide sign up sheets, fliers and stickers for your staff to post or wear. They help your customers understand why you're dressing casual that day and why it's important to prevent child abuse in our community.
For more information or supplies, please contact our office at (269) 552-4430. Or send an e-mail message to info@KalamazooCAN.com. Kalamazoo CAN is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and a designated council of the Children's Trust Fund for the prevention of child abuse in Michigan.
If you care about the issue of child abuse and neglect, we invite you to become a member and support our ongoing work. To become a member now, click here. Or call our office at (269) 552-4430. Welcome!