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Campaign for kids turns to schools, faith communities

Two open houses planned this month

Soon, it will be April and with April comes the annual Our Kids, Our Business campaign focused on child abuse prevention.

Next week, the campaign is holding open houses on Tuesday and next Thursday.

“We felt like we were missing contacts in the faith community and in schools,” said Amy Knapton, executive director of the Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery and one of the organizers behind Our Kids, Our Business.

April is child abuse prevention month, and in past years Our Kids, Our Business has been very event-oriented. This year, Knapton said the organization wants to hear more from people in the community.

“We want to hear what you are already doing to prevent child abuse,” Knapton said. “We want to share what people are already doing in the neighborhoods.”

Our Kids, Our Business is part of SPO-CAN, Spokane Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect Council. It was started in 2007 – with help from The Spokesman-Review – and is now a volunteer group.

On April 10, Our Kids, Our Business, will host a luncheon and a training program for caregivers at the Spokane Convention Center. This year’s keynote speaker is Portland-based therapist Robin Karr-Morse, the author of “Ghosts from the Nursery: Tracing the Roots of Violence” and “Scared Sick: The Role of Childhood Trauma in Adult Disease.”

The books examine how early childhood physical and emotional trauma can negatively impact a child’s brain development.

Knapton said Our Kids, Our Business is looking forward to Karr-Morse’s presentation.

“There is a lot of science and documentation about what adverse childhood experiences will do to brain development,” Knapton said. “But this is not just about abused children, it’s about my children – every child deserves a healthy start in life.”