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Groups fighting child abuse to merge

Leaders of the Our Kids: Our Business campaign said they will merge with SPO-CAN, a child welfare council that is already registered as a nonprofit organization.

The merger will give the fledgling community group the ability to create a governing structure and apply for grants, said Mary Ann Murphy, incoming chairwoman of SPO-CAN and a leader in the Our Kids: Our Business campaign.

“We will have an umbrella that can bring us all together, bring the community together, and really express that kids are our number one priority,” Murphy said.

SPO-CAN, an acronym for Spokane Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, has a history of working on public education projects.

“There is just such a wide variety of opportunity here as this grows year by year,” said Dina Patrick, program director at Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery and secretary of SPO-CAN.

The Our Kids: Our Business campaign – which brought together social service agencies, businesses and media organizations – began this spring.

The Spokesman-Review dedicated a monthlong project to the issues surrounding child maltreatment in the Inland Northwest.

The reporting included more than 50 stories, as well as student essays and editorials.

More than 1,700 people signed the newspaper’s Call to Action, a promise to work to improve the welfare of children in their communities.


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