Sometimes kids who live in toxic homes need outside help and intervention!

by | Feb 13, 2014

Please support my mission of helping families who suffer from PTSD and moral injury…order my book, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story.  Click and order paperback or download Kindle version.  Buy my book at BarnesandNoble as well… Thank you! Steve Sparks, Author

Happy Child!

Child Abuse Intervention…

“ABC House is the child abuse intervention center serving Benton and Linn Counties.  We provide high-quality child abuse assessments for local children when there are concerns of abuse and neglect.  Doctors specializing in child abuse medicine give children head-to-toe medical exams and trained child interviewers talk with children about what really happened to them.  ABC House also offers individual and family counseling, family support and referrals for other much-needed services.  Children and families receive comprehensive services in one safe, child-friendly environment to help lessen the hurt and start on the path toward healing.”


I hate the thought of child abuse or emotional neglect!  But the reality is we do live in a world where bad things happen to kids all the time.  Most of the time it is kept under wraps, a big secret, and no one likes to talk about it.  I was around the same age as the “happy child” in the picture above during the “too terrible to remember 1950’s and early 1960’s” when life in my home was very scary. My Dad served in extended combat both during WWII and Korean War.  He suffered terribly with the symptoms of PTSD.  Back then, there was little or no help for families struggling with toxic circumstances at home.  Most of the time it was a shameful secret…

I love happy kids!  I also have a big commitment of keeping kids happy and healthy while they are growing up to be productive and responsible teens and adults.   My work with Neighbors for Kids in Depoe Bay gives me the opportunity and honor to make a difference for children and the community.  Kids need a chance to succeed. They can thrive with the right mix of healthy activities, education, and caring adult mentors. Some of our kids do not live in the best conditions at home so what we provide in our after-school program gives them hope and the extra edge needed to get through the day…

We are much better these days than during my childhood in helping kids and families who face adversity at home.  That’s why my post for today is sharing information about the ABC House, as an example of help for kids when it is a critical need.  If you know of kids who are suffering at home with emotional neglect or abuse, ABC House can help.  Just pick up the phone and call.  Don’t wait around and hesitate if as a neighbor or friend you have valid concerns or observe a serious problem. There was no ABC House during my frightening childhood back in the day.  We had to just “suck it up” and fend for ourselves.  Most of us make it but carry lots of emotional baggage into adult life, and must address it at some point.  Child abuse and neglect sticks around as emotional baggage with a person well into adulthood.  We survivors are pretty good at making it invisible most of the time, but we suffer with the symptoms of PTSD and eventually need help. 

It is our duty and responsibility as a broader community to protect children, all children.  So, keep in mind, the ABC House and responsible adults are out there to help.  Don’t ever hesitate to ask or refer help…when your heart tells you to do so!

Steve Sparks
Reconciliation: A Son’s Story   click to order…

Vice Chair
Neighbors for Kids
Depoe Bay, Oregon

About the author

Steve Sparks is a retired information technology sales and marketing executive with over 35 years of industry experience, including a Bachelors’ in Management from St. Mary’s College. His creative outlet is as a non-fiction author, writing about his roots as a post-WWII US Navy military child growing up in the 1950s-1960s.
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