What We Do


Our Mission is to nurture abused and neglected children through collaboration, advocacy, treatment, and prevention.

We are a child-oriented facility, which serves as a centralized location for interviewing and examining children who are victims of physical and sexual abuse.
Our main focus is the health and wellness of the child. Members of the multi-disciplinary team (MDT) help the child and family cope with the abuse and begin the recovery process.

The Children's Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
 

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Reporting Abuse

 

If you suspect a child is being abused, it should be reported to Medina County Job and Family Services (MCJFS) at

330.661.0800.

 

If a child is in immediate danger, please call 911.

 

The longer abuse continues, the greater the potential for serious and long-term emotional and psychological difficulties are for the child. 





PLEASE PARDON OUR DUST - PAGE UNDER CONSTRUCTION

Behind every number, there is a real person with a very real story of being hurt at the hands of another. But you can make a difference. 

In the fight against child abuse, knowledge is our strongest weapon. The more you know about it, the more you can do to help those who have already been victimized and to prevent it from happening again.
 
We encourage you to learn more about child abuse and the programs in our community and pass that information on to those around you.
 
Start with your own family and our own community. Help teach children and teens about safety, raise awareness in our community about child abuse and pass this knowledge on. 

 

Learn the facts about child abuse and how you can help prevent it’s occurrence in Medina County.

* Knowledge is the first step - Learn the types of Child Neglect and Abuse 

* Recognizing the signs of Neglect and Abuse - A child depends on you

* Reporting Abuse - Responding appropriately will make a difference and protect our children

* Statistics - The numbers tell a powerful story

* Trauma Recovery - Healing Families, Changing Lives

* Resources - Suggested readings, helpful links, and more

* Human Trafficking - Each year, an estimated 1.078 Ohio children become human trafficking victims


Types of Child Abuse and Neglect

Child Neglect 

Neglect is characterized by not doing something which results in significant risk or harm to a child. It is defined in terms of failure to provide for a child’s basic needs such as:  adequate food, clothing, shelter, supervision, or medical and dental care.

Some acts of neglect include:

  • Refusal or delay in medical, dental, or mental health care
  • Abandonment or expulsion from the home
  • Inadequate supervision
  • Inadequate nutrition, clothing, or hygiene
  • Conspicuous inattention to avoidable hazards in the home
  • Reckless disregard for the child's safety and welfare
  • Permitted chronic truancy
  • Inadequate nurturing or affection
  • Chronic or extreme spouse abuse
  • Permitted drug or alcohol abuse

Child Emotional Abuse

Emotional or psychological maltreatment refers to "a repeated pattern of caregiver behavior or extreme incident(s) that convey to children that they are worthless, flawed, unloved, unwanted, endangered, or only of value in meeting another's needs" (Hart & Brassard). 

It includes:

  • Spurning - belittling, hostile rejecting, ridiculing
  • Terrorizing - threatening violence against a child, placing a child in a recognizably dangerous situation
  • Isolating - confinement, placing unreasonable limitations on the child's freedom of movement, restricting the child from normal and healthy social interactions

Child Physical Abuse

Physical abuse involves doing something that cause physical injury to a child such as:

  • Punching
  • Kicking
  • Biting
  • Shaking
  • Throwing
  • Stabbing
  • Choking
  • Hitting with a hand, stick, strap, or other object
  • Burning

While the actions of physical abuse are not accidental, the parent or caregiver may not have intended to hurt the child. The injury may have resulted from severe discipline, including injurious spanking, or physical punishment that is inappropriate to the child's age or condition.

Corporal Punishment (spanking) is allowed by Ohio law, although it crosses the line from acceptable to abusive if it is excessive and/or causes injury to the child.

Sexual Abuse

Child sexual abuse refers to any interaction in which a child is used for the sexual stimulation of a participant or observer.

It can be between an adult and a child or between children if there is a four-year age difference or if one child uses threats or force to get the other child to participate.
It may involve touching private parts (breasts, vagina, penis, or buttocks) under or over clothing. 
It may also include penetration, however slight, of the above private parts or mouth using an object or body part.

Child sexual abuse also includes actions that are not in direct contact with a child, such as:

  • exposing genitals in front of a child for attention and/or sexual arousal
  • looking at a child's naked body for sexual purposes
  • encouraging or forcing sexual acts between children
  • encouraging or forcing a child to view, read, or participate in pornography

Sexual abuse can involve varying degrees of violence and emotional trauma.
Exploiting or Corrupting - encouraging or modeling anti-social behavior such as criminal activities, prostitution, or permitting substance abuse.
Denying emotional responsiveness - ignoring the child's attempts to interact, failing to express affection.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact the Children's Center Case manager and Victim Advocate, Shannon E. Collins, at 330-764-8891 ext. 212 or Scollins@MedinaCountyChildrensCenter.org
 

Signs of Child Abuse and Neglect

***While Many Children Show No Visible Signs of Abuse, The Following Are Physical And Behavioral Indicators That When Recognized Early, May Save a Child's Life.

Neglect

  • Obvious malnourishment
  • Lack of personal cleanliness and hygiene
  • Torn or extremely dirty clothing
  • Hoarding or begging for food
  • Child unattended for long periods of time
  • Need for vision, dental, medical, or mental health services
  • Frequent tardiness or absence from school

Emotional Abuse

  • Overly compliant with adults and/or peers
  • Obvious low opinion of self
  • Severe depression, anxiety, or aggression
  • Difficulty making friends or joining in with other children
  • Lagging in physical, emotional, and intellectual development
  • Caregiver who belittles child, withholds love, and seems unconcerned about child’s problems

Physical Abuse

  • Frequent injuries such as bruises, cuts, welts, or burns without adequate explanation
  • Frequent complaints of pain without obvious injury
  • Burns or bruises in unusual or symmetrical patterns
  • Human bite marks
  • Cigarette burns
  • Lack of reaction to pain
  • Aggressive, disruptive and/or destructive behavior
  • Passive, withdrawn, and emotionless behavior
  • Intense and unexplained fear of going home or seeing parents
  • Injuries that appear after child has not been seen for several days
  • Inappropriate clothing that may hide injuries

Sexual Abuse

  • Evidence of injury to the genital area
  • Difficulty sitting or walking
  • Frequent expressions of sexual activity between adults and children 
  • Extreme fear of being alone with adults (especially of a particular gender)
  • Sexually suggestive, age inappropriate or promiscuous behavior
  • Sexually transmitted disease or pregnancy
  • Sexual victimization to other children
  • Relapse into bedwetting and frequent nightmares
  • Complaints of painful urination
  • Knowledge about sexual relations beyond what is age appropriate

Regardless of wether all or some of the listed signs are present, listen to your intuition. 

If you have any questions, feel free to contact the Children's Center Case manager and Victim Advocate, Shannon E. Collins, at 330-764-8891 ext. 212 or Scollins@MedinaCountyChildrensCenter.org
 

Reporting Child Abuse and/or Neglect

Each of us has a moral obligation to protect our community’s children. 


If you suspect child abuse or neglect outside of Ohio,
please contact the National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD.


 

*Ask yourself which is worse...being mistaken about your concerns or not speaking up for a child who has been and/or will continue to be harmed?

If you are a trusted adult in an child's life, there is a possibility he or she will come to you for help or tell you about an abusive situation. 


Responding appropriately will make a difference as YOU MAY BE THE ONLY ONE THEY EVER TELL

Please remember these important guidelines:

  • Listen and believe what you are being told (even if unimaginable)
  • Do not pressure for more information
  • Do not panic and usher child to other adults to repeat disclosure
  • Reassure that telling was the right thing to do
  • Make it clear that what happened is not his or her fault
  • Use the child's words.  Do not provide or substitute correct or polite words
  • Do not promise to keep what the child shares a secret
  • Do not make other promises you cannot keep.
  • Let child know that you must get help
  • Write down the facts, as you know them
  • Assess the child's immediate safety.  Is it safe for the child to go home?
  • Regardless of your assessment, REPORT IMMEDIATELY
  • Be supportive and available for the child in the future

What information do I need to make a report?

  • Name, address, and age of the child you suspect is being abused
  • Name and address of the parents or caretakers
  • Name and address of the abuser (if available)
  • The reason you suspect the child is being abused or neglected
  • Any other information which may be helpful in determining risk to the child
  • Giving your name is optional although may be helpful in clarifying or validating  information.

**The law protects you from being made known as the reporter.

Even if you do not have all of the above information, make the call.  You do not need proof of abuse—just a good-faith concern regarding a child’s welfare.

 

What happens after a report is made in Medina County?

  • Child Protective Services staff will determine risk to the child and whether or not an investigation is needed
  • If a case is opened, the assigned caseworker will determine whether the child needs to be brought to The Children's Center for an interview and/or a medical examination
  • Child(ren), family members, and essential others will be interviewed in the appropriate setting
  • Caseworker will determine if the child is at risk of or being abused or neglected
  • The case may be referred to other social service agencies or to juvenile or criminal court

Do I have to report suspected abuse or neglect?

You are a mandated reporter and required by law to report your suspicions if you are one of the following:

  • Animal Control Officer/Agent
  • Attorney
  • Audiologist
  • Childcare Worker
  • Children's Services Personnel
  • Clergy
  • Coroner
  • Daycare Personnel
  • Dental Office Staff
  • Nurse
  • Physician (including hospital intern or resident)
  • Podiatrist
  • Psychiatrist
  • School Authority, Teacher, or Other Employee
  • Social Worker
  • Speech Pathologist
If you have any questions, feel free to contact the Children's Center Case manager and Victim Advocate, Shannon E. Collins, at 330-764-8891 ext. 212 or Scollins@MedinaCountyChildrensCenter.org
 


Signs of Abuse
Recognizing the signs - a child depends on you

Reporting Abuse
Responding appropriately will make a difference - protect our children

Statistics
The numbers tell a powerful story

Trauma Recovery

Resources

Human Trafficking

Collapsing Text Examples

Collapsible Content Panels

If you have any questions, feel free to contact the Children's Center Case Manager and Victim Advocate,
Shannon E. Collins, at 330-764-8891 ext. 212 or Scollins@MedinaCountyChildrensCenter.org



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