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LOCAL BOWLING EVENTS ON APRIL 6 RAISE AWARENESS DURING CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION MONTH

Family and Children's Services (FCS) is hosting family bowling events across Central Maryland on Sunday, April 6th, to help raise awareness about child abuse prevention and intervention. Families and individuals are invited to “Bowl a Spare and Show You Care” at local bowling alleys in Annapolis, Columbia, Towson, Woodlawn, Hampstead and Forest Hill, from 3 PM – 5 PM as part of Child Abuse Awareness Month.

Local families, as well as FCS and donor-sponsored families can enjoy bowling the lanes as well as other family-friendly activities such as face-painting, crafts and refreshments at any of six bowling sites throughout central Maryland.

"FCS has been supporting families in crisis since 1849," said Cheryl Ladota, FCS COO, "and provides a number of programs focused on reducing the incidence of child abuse and helping families stuck in a cycle of abuse." The Child Abuse Treatment Programs of FCS provide comprehensive services to children, adolescents and their families who are experiencing the effects of sexual, physical and/or emotional abuse. In Anne Arundel, Carroll, Harford and Howard counties, FCS partners with the local Child Advocacy Center providing on-site services to ensure the abuse disclosure process does not re-traumatize the child and family. Throughout central Maryland FCS provides families with crisis intervention, assessment, treatment and/or referral; case management; individual, family, and group therapy, play/art therapy with clinicians trained in trauma-focused treatment; legal advocacy and court accompaniment.

FCS also educates families and communities about abuse prevention strategies and increases awareness of victim rights law. Trainers are available to talk with local organizations, parent groups and others about signs of abuse and what to do about suspected abuse.

Studies suggest that one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday and that 93% of child sexual assault victims know their attackers. Child abuse affects communities across all races, religions and socioeconomic backgrounds, and FCS’s confidential and safe child-focused services are provided regardless of circumstances or ability to pay. “Many people ask how they can make a difference,” said Amy Wagner, district director of Family and Children’s Services. “You make a difference by supporting programs that make a difference. Family and Children’s Services make a difference in the lives of those we serve every day.”

"'Bowl a Spare and Show You Care' provides an low-key opportunity for local communities to support child abuse prevention and intervention services offered by FCS as well as raise awareness of this serious, but often taboo crisis that impacts families and their community," said Cheryl Ladota, FCS COO.

Family and Children's Services is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization working to transform the lives of families and individuals by providing opportunities to build self-confidence, resilience and hope. For more information or to seek services, call 410-366-1980 or visit www.fcsmd.org.

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