"Baby Boxes" Provide Safe Sleep for South Lane Newborns

Published: Mar 20, 2017
KEZI - original post

article photo

COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. -- A local family group is bringing an international movement to Lane County in hopes of keeping newborns safe and well cared for.

The family resource center, 90 by 30, and the company Pip and Grow are working to bring the Welcome Baby Box project to newborns in South lane.

The boxes, modeled after a program in Finland, gives babies a portable and safe place to sleep.

Organizers said baby boxes lower the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS.

The project will also provide new parents with essentials like, baby wipes, clothes, and information.

"We’re really excited to be able to connect families to their community and allow them to not be isolated or feeling alone or on their own when they have a newborn."

The program will be up and running around June.

Boxes will be on display at the Cottage Grove Public Library and Lane Community College's Cottage Grove campus at the end of March.

See the video on KEZI's website.

90 by 30 North Lane Strategic Planning Session II

By: Edie Moro
Published: Feb 19, 2017
reprinted with permission by the Fern Ridge Review and The Tribune News.

article photo

Caption: The map of the North Lane 90 by 30 region lists some statistics. The North Lane region encompasses the Fern Ridge, Blachly and Junction City School Districts, and may extend to the Monroe and Harrisburg School Districts if members of those communities join the North Lane team.

Phyllis Barkhurst, Director of 90 by 30, led off the second North Lane strategic planning session on Feb. 18 by explaining how 90 by 30 plans to meet its goal of reducing child abuse and neglect in Lane County be 90% by the year 2030. She stressed that government agencies have worked for years to stop child abuse with not much success because they have focused on risk factors that are associated with child abuse and neglect. Instead, 90 by 30 looks at strengthening protective factors for prevention.

90 by 30 uses a public health model that focuses on primary prevention strategies. Barkhurst explained that this is like putting up a bridge over a river so people can pass over it safely, rather than throwing them life preservers and pulling them out once they fall in (a secondary prevention).

Barkhurst, who is at the University of Oregon College of Education Center for Prevention of Abuse and Neglect, was able to utilize graduate students to search for primary prevention strategies globally. From this research, the largest project of its kind, a list was drawn up of strategies that are inexpensive enough to be universal. Community members choose the one or two most important strategies and implement them. After two years, the strategies will be evaluated to see which strategies work the best in the seven 90 by 30 regions of Lane County.

There are five protective factors for preventing child abuse and neglect. They are concrete support in times of need, social connections, parental resilience, social and emotional competence of children, and knowledge of parenting and child development.

Parental resilience shows itself when a parent is patient and understanding. A parent’s external strengths are friends and family; internal strengths are things like a sense of humor and faith. Two good strategies for building parental resilience are home visitation programs for parents of children ages 0-5, and “parent cafés.” A parent café is a safe and secure way to bring parents together at a local restaurant so that they may share problems and solutions.

Building a child’s social and emotional competence has been shown to lessen bullying and child abuse. Strategies for this help children learn how to handle their own social and emotional situations. One strategy is “Roots of Empathy,” a program that teaches young kids to emphasize with an infant by trying to identify the infant’s emotions and needs.

Concrete support for families includes food boxes, help with shelter or housing, providing clothing, and giving parents a respite from child care. “Safe Families for Children” is a faith-based program that may be conducted by local churches.

Providing parents and children with social connections breaks down the feeling of isolation and creates community connections. An example of this is the Foster Grandparents program for senior citizens and children. This program has been shown to improve language and reading skills by 75%, as well as increasing empathy. Another program is to provide baby boxes to new parents, an idea that originated in Finland. South Lane has adopted “Welcome Baby Boxes” as one of its main strategies. There are 41 different groups in the Cottage Grove/Creswell area that contribute to these boxes. Research shows that the boxes decrease the incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) by teaching parents the safe way to let their baby sleep, and also lower stress levels in parents.

Another strategy is ‘Secret Survivors,’ a community-based theater program that allows victims of sexual abuse, trauma, grief, or other stressors to talk about their experiences. This strategy brings in the arts community.

Parent cafés help to enhance knowledge of parenting skills and child development. The success of this preventive strategy is communication through hands-on parenting classes. On-line parenting classes are also available.

The next session, scheduled for February 25, 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. at Fletchall Hall, 195 W. 5th Ave. (corner of W. 5th Ave. and Greenwood) in Junction City will look at the asset mapping report that the team members conducted. It will also be a strategy session to figure out how to bring a more diverse group of community members to the team. North Lane encompasses the communities of Veneta, Elmira and the Fern Ridge area, plus Junction City and Cheshire. Harrisburg and Monroe school districts may be included if people from those areas join the team.

If you are interested in joining the team and helping to plan the next steps towards implementing strategies, contact Amber Peden, 541-913-3452, or email:

North Lane Region of 90 by 30 holds series of workshops

By: Edie Moro
Published: Feb 11, 2017
reprinted with permission by the Fern Ridge Review and The Tribune News.

article photo

Caption: Participants from Veneta, Junction City, and Cheshire get to know each other at the 90 by 30 North Lane Region workshop, Saturday, Feb. 11.

The first of four workshops for the North Lane Region of the organization 90 by 30 was held Saturday, Feb. 11 at Fletchall Hall in Junction City. 90 by 30 formed out of a conference held in 2011 at which 225 Lane County residents asked the question, “How does a community go about reducing and preventing child abuse and neglect?” Despite the efforts of several agencies, the rates of child abuse and neglect had not been affected, and the residents wanted to know what more could be done.

The goal of 90 by 30 is to reduce child abuse and neglect in Lane County by 90% by the year 2030. 90 by 30 collaborates with the University of Oregon College of Education, which has a department for the prevention of child abuse and neglect. This U of O department has looked at efforts worldwide addressing this problem to see what strategies are working.

Lane County is about as large as the state of Maine, with a large rural population. One of the first things 90 by 30 did was to divide Lane County into seven regions, developing teams of concerned citizens for each region. 90 by 30 provides support staff for each of the regions. North Lane Region encompasses Fern Ridge, Junction City, and Blachly school districts, as well as Harrisburg and Monroe school districts, even though they are not in Lane County.

The model developed by 90 by 30 is based on a nationwide model of strengthening families. Participants identified five protective factors for prevention: concrete support for children and families; increase social connections in the community; increase resiliency of parents, children and caregivers; support social emotional learning for children using caregivers; and increase the actual knowledge of childhood development.

Each region was given the task of mapping the “assets” in their region and assigning what protective factors each asset possesses. Team member Evelyn Alford explained that examples of assets are libraries, food pantries, Habitat for Humanity, granges, community centers, and health clinics. This data will be presented at the second of the four workshops for North Lane Region.

At the first workshop participants viewed a short video depicting a harried parent who was “at the end of her rope” and her unhappy children with a busload of lookers-on. One of the other riders, an older woman, thought about what she might have done to ease the mother’s burden in a positive way. This prompted a discussion of the workshop attendees about appropriate positive responses to such scenarios that an average citizen might offer. This type of social norm change is one strategy that the North Lane Region team wants to implement.

The workshop leaders then presented background data about the North Lane Region from census and Department of Human Services, including percentages of home owners versus renters, employment data, and income levels. The attendees were given homework – checking out the website and bringing back three interesting facts to the next workshop.

The next workshop is Saturday, Feb. 18 from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. at Fletchall Hall, corner of Greenwood and W. 5th Avenue in Junction City. Everyone who is interested in reducing childhood abuse and neglect is welcome to attend. Staff member Amber Peden explained, “We would like to have a diverse group representative of our communities.” For more information about 90 by 30 or the North Lane Region workshops, call Peden at 541-913-3452.

Nonprofits in the Springfield Chamber: 90by30

Published: Oct 01, 2016
The Bottom Line - original post

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From fishing on the McKenzie to strolling through the farmers’ market at Sprout!, there is so much to love about living and working in Springfield. When it comes to being a safe, nurturing community for kids, we hold ourselves to the highest standards - nothing but the best. That’s why 90by30, a campus-community partnership at the University of Oregon with the goal of reducing child abuse and neglect in Lane County 90 percent by 2030, is excited to get involved with the Springfield community. We know that, when every member of the community plays their part in keeping children safe, we can do great things. It’s not just individuals volunteering their time, as important as that is; it’s businesses and organizations joining in the chorus of voices demanding that we make our city the best it can possibly be.

One of 90by30’s key goals is to act as a bridge between the individuals and organizations in Lane County who are already doing great work in combating child abuse. It’s a community-driven effort informed by research, and the backbone of our work is done by the seven Regional Leadership Teams located around the county. The Eugene and Springfield teams are forming now, and will be recruiting members through the end of September. They’ll follow the lead of the rural teams, which have taken stock of the assets and gaps in their communities and are now choosing the prevention strategies to implement in their regions. By picking from the best strategies in existence and tailoring the selection to fit each region, 90by30 is making change local.

Businesses have always been integral to efforts to reduce child abuse and neglect. From stepping up to sponsor our annual conference to providing meeting space to our Regional Leadership Teams to displaying “gardens” of pinwheels during Child Abuse Prevention Month, the business community has shown that it too can play its part in protecting children. This April, dozens of local stores and other businesses across the county created displays of pinwheels, the symbol of a carefree and safe childhood, and put up posters to mark Child Abuse Prevention Month. Businesses can
also do their part to create a child-friendly community; in Springfield, we’ve seen grocery stores offer free snacks to kids shopping with parents and insurance offices with play areas for customers’ children.

90by30 believes strongly that child abuse can and will be prevented by the people of Lane County. It is invested in stopping abuse before it starts, in finding a “vaccine” for child abuse rather than solely treating the sick. A scientific survey of county residents showed that 98 percent agreed that one of the most important responsibilities of adulthood is to ensure the safety of children. Adults should do everything they can to keep children safe - and with your help, 90by30 is confident that we can.

For more information, visit 90by30 online at To get involved with the Springfield Regional Leadership team, call 541-346-7484 or email Springfield Outreach Coordinator Kayla Watford at

Child abuse prevention focus of summit

Published: Apr 02, 2016
Albany Democrat-Herald - original post

article photo Jeff Todahl of the University of Oregon, talks about Lane County's 90by30 program, whose goal is reducing child abuse and neglect 90 percent by the year 2030.

LEBANON — More than 100 people learned how volunteers in Lane County hope to reduce the number of child abuse incidents by 90 percent by the year 2030 during the third annual Child Abuse Prevention Summit held Friday morning at the River Center.

The event was coordinated by the Linn County Child Abuse Network (CAN).

Guest speakers Jeff Todahl and Phyllis Barkhurst shared how the county of more than 300,000 residents is developing plans to meet the goal.

“This is a co-learning experience,” Todahl said.

Both speakers bring extensive experience to their project, and Barkhurst said she is a child abuse survivor. She is the director of the 90 by 30 Initiative and co-founder of the University of Oregon Center for the Prevention of Abuse and Neglect.

Todahl is an associate professor in the counseling psychology and human services department at the University of Oregon and a faculty member at the Oregon Center for the Prevention of Abuse and Neglect.

The program started in 2011, when 225 community members gathered to focus on a single question: How do we stop child abuse?

According to the pair, Lane County is about the size of Connecticut in terms of square miles and its population varies by area. Communities on the Oregon coast have different ways of life than Lane County communities within the Cascade Mountains.

“So, we have divided the county into seven regions,” Barkhurst said.

Todahl said much of the project so far has focused on gathering information from Lane County residents. Surveys of more than 6,000 people across the spectrum have been completed.

“We found that 98 percent of respondents so far believe that all adults have a responsibility to prevent child abuse,” he said. “But 44 percent weren’t sure what the community could do to reduce abuse and neglect.”

Nearly one in three Lane County residents, or about 100,000, have experienced abuse or neglect as a child.

A major finding is that 91 percent said a long-term community-wide effort to raise awareness of child abuse could be effective. And, they would support a local prevention effort if:

There was a clear plan.

Advertisement (1 of 1): 0:29
It would actually help individuals.

It would be done in a way that didn’t blame parents.

The community would do it as a whole.

Good, trustworthy people were running it.

There were the resources and money to support it.

Barkhust said volunteers and local businesses have come together to create 75 short videos based on the concept, “What would we do, if …”

These videos create scenarios in which public interaction could decrease the potential for an abusive situation, or to create a learning experience.

Other tools being implemented in the 90 by 30 effort are:

Roots of Empathy: School-neighborhood partnership where a local infant spends time in classrooms with a specific curriculum proven to develop empathy in children.

Safe Families for Children: Faith-based effort that provides respite care for families to keep them out of the child protective care system and intact.

Speak Up Be Safe: School-based curriculum for K-12 to help children and youth learn the skills to prevent neglect, bullying and child abuse.

Finland’s Baby Box: Every new child in a community is welcomed with a baby box filled with gifts and information and references for the family.

Friday’s summit also featured several break-out sessions and showings of the Darkness to Light child abuse prevention training video.

Blue and silver pinwheels intended to spark an interest in child abuse prevention issues were distributed. Linn County communities, such as Lebanon and Brownsville, are filled with the pinwheels, reminders that April is Child Abuse Awareness Month.

DuckFunder Projects Target School Supplies, Child-Abuse Prevention

By: Cody Pinkston
Published: Feb 02, 2016
UO College of Education - original post

The 90by30 program is a COE outreach unit working to reduce child abuse in Lane County, Oregon 90 percent by 2030. Their $15,000 goal would support activities related to Child Abuse Prevention Month in April. Its purpose is to raise awareness that child abuse is an important local issue and will also connect county residents with concrete opportunities to support children and families in ongoing prevention efforts. A gift of any size, from $5 to $500, is critical to support this year’s efforts to turn a caring community into a force for change.

Jeff Todahl is an associate professor in couples and family therapy, and director of the Center for the Prevention of Abuse and Neglect, 90by30's research arm.

"I am asking for your help in spreading the word to the COE community and to friends of the COE," Todahl said. "With this, every donation counts. It’s about the support for sure, though it’s also about building on our momentum to demonstrate the power of a community-campus partnership toward a dramatic, research-informed improvement in a perplexing social problem."

Their campaign ends February 29, 2016.

The other initiative to receive support via DuckFunder is the Promise Neighborhoods After-School Program, whose campaign ends March 4, 2016.

Child Abuse Prevention in Lane County: What a Scientific Survey Reveals

Published: Jan 12, 2016
90by30/UO Center for the Prevention of Abuse and Neglect - original post

Every ambitious goal needs a firm foundation. To meet 90by30's goal of reducing child abuse and neglect in Lane County by 90 percent by 2030, we believe it is essential to first understand child abuse-related community attitudes, public opinion, and local social norms. A desire for that crucial baseline knowledge was the impetus behind the Child Abuse Prevention Climate Survey, which was designed by researchers at the University of Oregon's Center for the Prevention of Abuse and Neglect and administered to a randomly selected and statistically representative sample of Lane County residents. The information captured by this survey will provide a foundation on which to build a locally-made prevention plan.

So what did we learn about your neighbors' thoughts on child abuse and neglect? Do they think it is a problem that can be solved? How do they believe we can best prevent it? The survey provided a fascinating window into the views of Lane County residents. The full report is available at, and a visual summary of the data can be viewed in detail at

Lane County Works to Reduce Child Abuse

By: The Ford Family Foundation
Published: Nov 01, 2015
Community Vitality - original post

Community leaders in Lane County, frustrated by rates of child abuse and neglect, two years ago launched an innovative program that aims to reduce these rates by 90% by the year 2030.

It’s a bold goal, but one that community leaders are convinced is realistic, given the strong work of groups already working in that area.

“A key part of 90by30’s plan is to act as a bridge between individuals and groups across rural and urban Lane County who are already working in various ways to address child abuse and neglect,” says Phyllis Barkhurst, director of the 90by30 initiative.

In order to decrease child abuse and neglect in Lane County 90% by the year 2030, 90by30 adopts a model that defines a prevention role for every person in the community. This Collective Impact model makes it possible for a diverse group of individuals and groups to work together to help solve a complex social problem, Barkhurst explains.

At the heart of the effort is the belief that the problem of child abuse is one that belongs to everyone. The Lane County effort uses a three-pronged approach based on this philosophy: We each have a role (in providing a safe community); we know what to do (each of us needs the knowledge and skills to combat the problem); and we will act (each person will take action to promote the safety of children).

“The 90by30 initiative is going for nothing less than a total culture change. Prevention is up to all of us,” says Keavy Cook, director of the Children, Youth and Families department at The Ford Family Foundation, which provides support to the Lane County initiative.

90by30 Initiative Holds Volunteer Fair

By: Nha Nguyen
Published: Nov 09, 2014
KEZI - original post

90by30 Initiative EUGENE, Ore. — The 90by30 Initiative is looking for help reducing child abuse and neglect in Lane county by 90% by 2030.

A recent survey done by the Center for the Prevention of Abuse and Neglect (CPAN) at the University of Oregon found that more than 98% percent of Lane County residents agree adults should do everything possible to ensure that area kids are safe. So, on Sunday afternoon, a volunteer fair was held at the Serbu campus in Eugene to educate the public about how important their role is in accomplishing this big goal.

CPAN Director Jeff Todahl says, “It really does require that the general public to get much more involved in supporting families and supporting kids to ensure that all kids are safe. The survey was a chance to listen to people about what they thought we should do. So, that’s at the heart of it.”

If you missed the event, you can still go to their website to fill out a volunteer form.

90by30 on Jefferson Exchange!

Published: Feb 02, 2014
JPR | Jefferson Public Radio - original post

Phyllis Barkhurst,90by30 Director and Dr. Jeff Todahl, Director of the Center for the Prevention of Abuse and Neglect were featured on the Jefferson Exchange radio show on Jefferson Public Radio on Thursday, January 30th. Listen to the show.

90by30: Child abuse prevention meeting touts practical answers

By: Jerry Thompson
Published: Jan 15, 2014
The Cottage Grove Sentinel - original post

article photo University of Oregon professor Dr. Jeff Todahl shared why he is optomistic the child abuse can be dramatically reduced in Lane County during a forum held at Cottage Grove High School.

News Paper Scan of The Cottage Grove Sentinel article by Jerry Thompson.

Be a part of a new layer of protection for children

By: Phyllis Barkhurst
Published: Nov 18, 2013
Register Guard - original post

Over the last two decades, reported rates of child abuse and neglect across the nation, including Lane County, have continued to rise. In response, better interventions have been developed to care for vulnerable children and assist parents and at-risk families.

Local efforts, including Parenting Now!, Success by Six, Head Start, Big Brother-Big Sister, Family Resource Centers and the Relief Nursery programs have made a tremendous difference in the lives of thousands of families in our communities.

Even with so many wonderful local programs, child abuse rates have not decreased, which is why a group of more than 225 Lane County folks gathered in 2011 to ask if there was anything else we could be doing to prevent child abuse and neglect.

The answer was a resounding “yes.” We could add another layer of community-based child abuse prevention efforts that involve every person, business, group and organization in an effective way.

This was the birthplace of the vision to reduce child abuse and neglect in Lane County 90 percent by the year 2030 — it was the launch of 90by30, a University of Oregon-community partnership housed at the College of Education. To reach this goal, we need to increase support for existing efforts and add another layer of prevention strategies that have a proven track record of success elsewhere in the world.

90by30 began by spending much of 2012 searching and identifying effective prevention efforts, such as Australia’s “Play Your Part,” a community-based strategy that helps every person find their own place and role in preventing child abuse and neglect. Another example is Safe Families for Children, a Salem-based interfaith model that ensures every church, synagogue and faith-based organization takes on their role in order to reduce child neglect and abuse.

We need to add more people and groups to the effort to make it possible to dramatically reduce child abuse and neglect.

To that end, 90by30 is asking individuals and groups all over Lane County, who are not currently involved in child abuse prevention efforts, to join us and play their part. An individual or group could help to select the community-based strategies to implement in their own area, assist in implementing the chosen strategies, work to align existing efforts with new strategies, be a part of the web-based communication system, or join the group that evaluates the effectiveness of the strategies chosen.

A good place to start would be the 90by30 Conference 2014 to be held on Feb. 28 and March 1 in Eugene.

The findings from a recent 90by30 pilot survey suggested that 75 percent of Lane County residents are willing to be active in reducing child abuse and neglect, and yet less than half reported knowing what to do or how to go about helping. 90by30 is in the process of creating the structure to implement the plan that will make it possible for each of us to play our part.

There are five adults for every child in Lane County. We know there is great strength in numbers. We have the ability, together, to provide a safer and healthier community for kids.

Hope, enthusiasm mark inaugural conference on child-abuse prevention

By: Cody Pinkston
Published: Mar 17, 2013
University of Oregon College of Education - original post

article photo 1st Annual 90by30 Conference

Amid the trappings of a conference – the rented space, the catering, the millions of niggling details – it can be easy to forget the whole point. Not so for the attendees of “Building Bridges: Connecting Communities to Prevent Child Abuse,” the first conference organized by the University of Oregon College of Education's nascent 90by30 initiative, held March 8-9 in Eugene. Its mission to reduce child abuse by 90 percent in Lane County 90 by 2030 depends heavily on the buy-in and eager participation of the people involved, which is why the project's future hinged, in no small way, on the conference's success.

90by30 conference 2013 Phyllis Barkhurst, the project's director, didn't really know what to expect in terms of attendance and participation. But even without a frame of reference she was very pleased with the results, which included some 137 attendees.

“The participants were a great mix of community and campus members,” she said. “The level of engagement was good; the number one comment on the evaluation forms was a request for even more time for participants to be able to connect with each other – we clearly left them wanting more.”

Changing norms to prevent abuse in our community: Report back from Oregon

Published: Mar 11, 2013 - original post

article photo Plenary speakers from the 90by30 conference on March 8, 2013: (Left to right: Lara Bruce, Howard Spivak, Jennifer Sayre and PreventConnect’s David Lee.)

Last week I had the opportunity to speak at first annual 90 by 30 conference. I love the vision of the mission of 90 by 30: to reduce child abuse in 90% by 2030 in Lane County, Oregon. This concrete and ambitious goal will require this community to be fully engaged in a community-wide effort.

My presentation focused on importance of changing norms to prevent violence and abuse. First I recognized the overlap between different forms of violence, such as sexual violence and child abuse, before I recommended that transformation take place not be providing information only, but by changing how we frame abuse and promoting the norms we want to see.

I discussed many great reports such as Prevention Institute’s Transforming Communities to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation: A Primary Prevention Approach, Frameworks Institute work with Prevent Child Abuse America and Berkeley Media Studies Group‘s analysis of media coverage of child sexual abuse. I reviewed the exciting new work by the Wisconsin Children’s Trust Fund on changing norms to prevent child abuse.

To transform our communities, we need to build a movement for change. I ended my presentation describing what we need for a movement: leadership, vision and hope. It was great to see the beginning of this movement in Lane County. I am have the strength of a movement to end sexual violence and domestic violence over the last 40 years.

Other plenary speakers included Howard Spivak, Director, Division of Violence Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who described the new Essentials for Childhood report, Jennifer Sayre of Green Dot, Etcetera describing the value of a bystander approach and Lara Bruce of Butler Institute for Families speaking about community-based approach of Communities Now.

Preventing Child Abuse is Lane County

By: KEZI staff
Published: Mar 08, 2013
KEZI - original post

EUGENE, Ore. — Hundreds of people gathered in Eugene Friday with the goal of cutting child abuse in Lane County by 90 percent.

They hope to do that in about 17 years, by 2030.

Organizers say the conference at Valley River Inn is important because the number of cases went up in the past decade.

Children playing. “In 2000, there were 20,000 reports of abuse and neglect in Oregon, and in 2011 there were 74,000. And so the reports are on increase, and the rates are higher than anyone would want them to be,” said Jeff Todahl, conference organizer.

The conference will continue Saturday, and it’s open to the public.

Stopping child abuse: 'It's not about whether we can, it's whether we will'

By: Tom Adams/KVAL News
Published: Mar 05, 2013
KVAL - original post

EUGENE, Ore. - Cutting child abuse and neglect in Lane County by 90 percent by the year 2030: Is that preposterous - or possible?

"I think yes, the answer is anything is possible," said Kelly Sutherland with the Relief Nursery.

The idea for the "90 by 30" project came 2 years ago not because existing programs don't work but because University of Oregon educators think they can work better. The project is paid for from private funds and grants. The program will be holding its first annual conference Friday and Saturday at Eugene's Valley River Inn.

"It's more the idea of taking the responsibility for that intervention away from that handful of people in government or non-profits and putting it where it belongs with each of us," said program director Phyllis Barkhurst.

So how will it work?

Barkhurst said Lane County will be divided into six zones, with local councils getting information to people on the warning signs of abuse.

"Where you know your neighbor and know that you can trust your neighbor and you can reach out to your neighbor for support; even in those neighborhoods, rates of abuse and neglect are much lower," said Dr. jeff Todahl, program co-director.

The challenge is daunting. In 2011, nearly 75,000 founded cases of child abuse or neglect were recorded in Oregon, 710 of those in Lane County.

Going hand in hand with the abuse cases are the cases of neglect, something the Relief Nursery in Eugene has to deal with every day.

"Neglect does not have to be an intentional act," Sutherland said. "It's a product of the environment and their circumstances and so we need to collectively address those issues."

Inform and mobilize: dual goals of the "90 by 30" project so that maybe horrible abuse deaths like Jeanette Maples in 2009 can be prevented.

"It's not about whether we can," Todahl said. "It's much more a matter of whether we will."

Initiative seeks to protect every child

By: Diane Dietz
Published: Mar 04, 2013
The Register-Guard - original post

Against all historical evidence, University of Oregon educators are making audacious claims about Lane County potentially being the first county in the nation to all but vanquish child abuse and neglect.

The UO officials say it with about the same confidence that billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates uses on eradicating polio; they say their plans could actually work.

“We are going to have a huge shift between now and 2030 in Lane County. Absolutely,” said Phyllis Barkhurst, director of the UO-based 90by30 Child Abuse Prevention Initiative.

The concept is to reduce child abuse and neglect by 90 percent by 2030.

Organizers are inviting Lane County residents to a two-day conference, featuring national child abuse headliners, on Friday and Saturday at Valley River Inn. It’s called “Building Bridges: Connecting Communities to Prevent Child Abuse.”

The 90by30 organizers are optimistic, even though the heavy lifting of Lane County organizations such as Relief Nursery, United Way and the former Birth To Three — now renamed Parenting Now! — has not ended the suffering of children here.

“Despite millions of dollars and more than 30 years of working directly with children and families on early intervention strategies, rates of child abuse and neglect in the county had risen steadily,” according to a UO write-up.

Lane County saw 710 founded cases of child abuse or neglect in 2011, the most recent year for which statistics are available. That year, 1,703 Lane County children spent a day or more in foster care (some were removed from home in earlier years).

A black ribbon of sorrow runs through the county in the names of children dead by abuse or neglect: Tesslynn O’Cull, 3 years old. Joshua Ralls, 18 months. Sarah Rambeck, 17 months. Lacey Rossini, 13 years. Lacey Folenius, 3 years. Ryan Potter, 14 months. Jeanette Maples, 15 years.

Each of those blows galvanized Lane County residents to try to do better.

But most victims of abuse and neglect never make the headlines. Of the 710 cases of child abuse or neglect in 20ll, 69 were physical abuse and 67 were sexual abuse. But the majority — 520 cases — were neglect, ostensibly unseen, unknown and not acted on.

Parents or their live-in companions are responsible in 94 percent of abuse and neglect cases, so much of it probably happens at home.

A random-digit telephone survey of 351 Eugene-Springfield survivors of violence — who were mostly children when they were hurt — asked participants: When you first experienced abuse or violence, how often did anyone try to help or protect you? Often, 12 percent said. Rarely, 20 percent said. Never, 48 percent said.

“When you look at how child abuse and neglect works, it’s in isolation,” Barkhurst said. “So breaking isolation is a key. It’s a difficult thing to do when people feel that getting involved is interfering with somebody else’s business. That’s a social or cultural norm that really needs to be challenged.”

The government, police or social workers can’t end child abuse and neglect, Barkhurst said.

“Our overburdened system has to really respond where there’s danger to a child. They have to pick and choose. They’re not going to respond if someone calls and says a child seems to have no more clothes,” she said.

The 90by30 aim is to strengthen neighborhood ties so neighbors feel like they can help support their neighbors who are dealing with the stress of raising children. They also want to change the Lane County culture so it’s “unconscionable for anyone to turn a blind eye to the maltreatment of children,” according to the group’s literature.

“If we believe it’s our concern, and we know what to do about it when we are concerned, it changes our whole social norm,” Barkhurst said. “If you see a family struggling, if you see a kid wear the same clothes every day for two weeks, it’s an indicator of something.”

John Radich, state child welfare manager who oversees offices in Lane County, said he’s in favor of whatever “we” can do — although 2030 is a long way off, he said.

“Nobody wants to have a child hurt in any way,” he said. “The sooner we can prevent and reduce those numbers, the better.”

So far, 90by30 organizers have rallied 200 participants. “Our big goal for 2013 is to have (six) teams all fully formed and choosing their strategies,” Barkhurst said.

The recruits have included aged-out Parent Teacher Association members, teachers, counselors, graduate students and retired people looking for a place to put their energies, Barkhurst said.

“We’re trying to show there’s a role for everyone, and we can’t continue to rely on nonprofits and governmental entities and law enforcement to take on such a complex issue, because we’re not seeing the big decreases in child abuse we want to see,” she said.

The conference, which organizers plan to repeat annually, is for both people in the helping professions and for others committed to stopping child abuse and neglect. Organizers are hoping to attract more rural Lane County residents and more nonprofit group employees, so they’ve dropped the price to $49, down from $129 to accommodate them — and scholarships can cover most of the cost for those who can’t pay. “We’re not going to let finances be a barrier if people really want to come,” Barkhurst said.

One top speaker is Melissa Brodowski from the Children’s Bureau, a unit of the federal Department of Health & Human Services in Washington, D.C. She is an expert on child abuse prevention programs nationally, and she’s going to tell the Lane County audience what doesn’t work.

Another top speaker, Dr. Howard Spivak, director of the violence prevention unit of the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, will give a status report on prevention activities nationally.

Some of those programs will “absolutely” work in Lane County, Barkhurst said.

The county has the advantage of so many people working for so long on the problem, she said.

“If you think of it as a puzzle, Lane County has more pieces of the puzzle in place than other places in Oregon, for sure. There’s a foundation here.”

The graying demographics are on Lane County’s side, too.

“There’s five adults for every child under 18 in Lane County, so we have the resources right there, if we know how to use them,” Barkhurst said.

Community Conference

Lane County residents seeking new and proven ways to end child abuse
When: 8:30 a.m. Friday; 9 a.m. Saturday
Where: Valley River Inn, 1000 Valley River Way
To register:
Learn More
Led by the University of Oregon, Lane County residents are seeking new and proven ways to end child abuse and neglect
What: 90by30 conference
When: 8:30 a.m. Friday; 9 a.m. Saturday
Where: Valley River Inn, 1000 Valley River Way
To register:
For discounts: phyllisb

Biz Beat

By: Biz Beat
Published: Feb 28, 2013
Eugene Weekly - original post

The first 90by30 Conference is coming up March 8-9 at Valley River Inn. The conference is sponsored by the Center for the Prevention of Abuse and Neglect at the UO College of Education. 90by30 refers to the goal of reducing child abuse in Lane County by 90 percent by 2030. Registration is $99 for one day and $129 for two days, including meals, but program Director Phyllis Barkhust says an anonymous donor has offered to subsidize a $49 “rural conference rate” for low-income non-Eugene residents who want to participate. See for registration and list of speakers, which includes national experts...