By Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey
Bonner County commissioners proclaimed April as Child Abuse Prevention Month during the board’s regular April 5 meeting. The proclamation, according to Deputy Clerk Claire May, is meant to symbolize Bonner County joining people nationwide in their effort to “raise awareness about child abuse and neglect prevention.”
Recognition of Child Abuse Prevention Month came at the request of Kinderhaven — a Sandpoint-based nonprofit that serves as a group foster home and emergency shelter for local children in need.
Kinderhaven Executive Director Jennifer Plummer spoke on behalf of the organization at the commissioners’ meeting, noting that recent state and federal legislation has tried to “alter” the nonprofit’s operations “quite a bit.”
“I’m very happy to say to you all today … that after some contract wrangling, which had to do with federal legislation — which really aimed to make Kinderhaven a two-week only shelter, which is not what we’re about — we have actually come to a point [where] children do not have time limits at Kinderhaven,” she said.
Kinderhaven has been able to serve more than 2,000 children since its doors opened in 1996. The facility, which is the only one of its kind in North Idaho, is staffed 24 hours a day and capable of taking in children in crisis at any moment.
“We want to make sure that the whole town [and] county is aware that Kinderhaven is as vital as ever, as necessary as ever,” Plummer said April 5. “There are so few foster homes in our area, and so we’re very happy and pleased that the county is making this proclamation.”
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