>   To the Editor,
   Child abuse and neglect is a problem in Oregon. In 2010, over 11,000 Oregon children were abused or neglected, most of them by their own families. These children would fill more than 170 school busses.
   Oregonians pay for child abuse with increased foster care, juvenile crime, child welfare, and special education and prison costs. The costs and pain of child abuse can be prevented. As caring and concerned citizens, we must do everything in our power to protect and nurture these vulnerable children.
   According to Children First for Oregon's 2011 Status Of Oregon's Children report, there were 81 confirmed incidents of child abuse and/or neglect in Jefferson County in 2010, the last year for which they have statistics available. Roughly half of these cases involve children under the age of 6.
   Many of us wonder what we can do to help. One simple way we can help is to purchase a "Keep Kids Safe" license plate. The revenue from the Keep Kids Safe license plate will come back to our community to fund vital child abuse prevention programs. A two-year registration period is only $30.
   It is imperative that we all take responsibility to ensure each child is nurtured, born healthy and enters school ready to lean. Not all children have this opportunity. You can transform their lives by purchasing a Keep Kids Safe license plate and supporting child abuse prevention programs in our community. Prevention works! Help drive the message home. Here is your chance to help. Learn more at
   Minda Morton
Jefferson County Commission on Children and Families
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