As Shirley Brown, Child and Family Services Division administrator for the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, notes in her guest column in the Missoulian, April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and the May is Foster Parent Appreciation Month.

It’s a fitting sequence, as child abuse is usually followed by foster care – or at least it is when the system works as it should.

Throughout the next two months, Missoula and other communities in western Montana will be home to a number of events meant to raise awareness and deepen the pool of understanding about child abuse and foster care, as Brown mentioned in her column.

One event I’d like to highlight in particular is being organized by a group of social work students at the University of Montana and is scheduled, I believe, for April 27 at Meadowview Community Church. The lineup of speakers includes a pair of foster parents and their foster child, Bill Neaves of the Dan Fox Foster Care and Adoption Program at Youth Homes, two professors from the university and Missoula Mayor John Engen.

I’ll post more details as they become available.

– MM