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TEAMS AIM TO BREAK CYCLE OF CHILD ABUSE

Child abuse and neglect is on the rise despite intensive efforts to curb the problems.

According to the most recent statistics available, child protection workers in Utah investigated more than 16,000 cases of abuse, involving almost 11,000 children.Child advocates - both officials and private citizens - have tried a number of things to change those statistics, from tougher penalties to more prevention services to special projects.

But members of the Salt Lake/Sum-mit County Child Abuser Prevention Team believe the solution lies, in large part, in educating the public about child abuse.

What it is. How to recognize it. Where to report it and what will happen. How parents can avoid abusing children - and where they can get help.

"There's a great need for ongoing, consistent education about child abuse," said Claire Arce', child abuse prevention specialist.

In 1991, the teams started collecting information and producing articles on those topics and more. They've distributed their par-ent-ing tips through public libraries, their member agencies and elsewhere.

Today, the Deseret News joins their efforts. Once a month, the newspaper will publish "Kid Stuff," a column produced by the CAP teams and devoted to improving parenting skills.

Utah has 13 CAP teams statewide, each composed of members of local nonprofit and human service agency professionals and volunteers. They are financed, in large part, by the Children's Trust Fund, and they work under the umbrella of the Utah Chapter to Prevent Child Abuse.