COPE24 – Hopes to Prevent Child Abuse by Educating Teens

child abuse

I came across an article about a new program called COPE24 that’s being implemented in nearly twenty school districts in Missouri. The program aims to teach teenagers about the stresses of parenting and how to recognize neglect and abuse before they even become parents themselves.

There are different forms of child abuse. These are:

    • Sexual abuse – this includes any activity that uses a child to create sexual gratification in you or in others.
    • Physical abuse – this is the kind of abuse that people are most familiar with. This is defined as excessive physical injury or excessive corporal punishment in a child.
    • Child neglect – this is also considered as a form of child abuse and is punishable by law. Children who are poorly cared for, improperly clothed and not fed properly – among others- are forms of child neglect.
    • Emotional neglect – this is the kind of abuse that is not easily seen, but affects children all the same. Emotional neglect is when a child doesn’t receive adequate attention from their parents or guardians.
  • According to a research made by Florida State University Center for Prevention and Early Intervention Policy, children born to young mothers are at a greater risk of being an indicated case of child abuse or neglect and being placed in foster care later. The U.S Department of Health and Human Services has similar findings.

    COPE24 works by showing teenagers videos of real-life scenarios (such as that of a father who lost his baby due to shaken baby syndrome), and then they have guided discussion of how to better handle such situations.

    I think this is a great program. If you don’t get educated on a topic, you’ll remain ignorant. And there are lots of times when you can probably think back to something you learned and say, “Yeah, that really had an impact on me”.

    I’ve always liked the expression, “kids don’t come with instruction manuals”, so programs like COPE24 sound quite helpful.

    The numbers of teenage parents are growing everyday – and teenagers are usually not mature enough to understand their own emotions, forget those of a child! So at least if we can’t prevent so many teenage pregnancies maybe we can at least minimize the damage that they can cause.

    COPE24 is still on its early stage, and I guess the biggest obstacle right now is how to get through to teenagers. While this sounds like a great program, we all know that parenting is the last thing on a teenager’s mind. It’s very hard to get them to listen to these kinds of messages. I wonder how they’ll deal with low interest among teenagers.

    SEE ALSO: This audio lesson will forever change the way you interact with your kids

    One Response to COPE24 – Hopes to Prevent Child Abuse by Educating Teens

    1. rene howitt May 26, 2012 at 12:42 pm #

      Chris….Someone who works with me just ran across your article of 11/2011 about COPE24. I’d like to thank you for informing your readers about our program. We are still growing and I thought you may like an update. The COPE24 Parenting Skill Program was released in March 2011. We just completed our first full school year. Our program has now been implimented in 85 plus high schools across the country. The teens are seriously engaging in conversation after viewing our videos. We don’t know what the results will be yet, however, our educational system is based on the premise that knowledge is good. We are providing them with the realities of parenting not the simplified picture they would normally imagine.

      I also wanted to inform you that we are now in the middle of production of another video. This will be a documentary focusing on those infants that survive sbs or severe head trauma. We expect to have this production completed before the end of this year and will post information about this at our website, when completed.

      Thanks again for helping us to spread the word about what our organization is trying to accomplish. Rene

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