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Child abuse prevention advocates aim to restore funding to 2018 county budget

More than a dozen agencies in the Rochester area called on Monroe County to focus more money on preventing child abuse. (WHAM photo)

Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) - More than a dozen agencies in the Rochester area called on Monroe County to focus more money on preventing child abuse.

At a news conference Monday morning, area pediatric physicians, parents and child advocates came together as part of The Children's Agenda. The organization aims to restore funding that has been cut for some preventative services.

The policy brief delivered at the news conference outlines key findings and recommendations founded on evidence-based programs proven to work best.

RELATED: Monroe County CPS addresses Brook Stagles case

Advocates say the programs being cut in the 2018 county budget keep families from entering the Child Protective Services system.

"We're asking the county to increase funding for preventive services," said Brigit Hurley, policy and advocacy director for The Children's Agenda. "Those are services like home visits, family therapy that try to help a family before they get to a crisis situation and to keep that out of the CPS system."

In October, Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo announced a plan to overhaul Child Protective Services at the county level. This came after the death of three-year-old Brook Stagles.

A spokesperson for Monroe County released the following statement Monday evening:

County Executive Dinolfo looks forward to presenting a balanced, flat-tax budget tomorrow that invests more than $500 million in services for children and families, representing over 40% of the county's annual operating spending. Included in that sum, the County will invest $1.7 million more in preventive programming for children in 2018 - a decision made well before today's announcement by the Children’s Agenda.

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