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Parenting class aimed at preventing child deaths

The Nevada Institute for Children’s Research and Policy is looking for 10-to-20 single parents to take part in a special program aimed at preventing child abuse and deaths at the hands of caretakers.

The organization is holding a free parent training class at Pahrump’s No To Abuse / Nevada Outreach Training Organization on Tuesday, from noon to 2 p.m.

Dr. Amanda Haboush-Deloye said the class is designed to address the high rate of child deaths in Nevada resulting from caregivers who are non-family members.

“The main content of that feedback is go over the different characteristics of a safe caregiver and unsafe caregiver,” she said. “That’s the primary purpose of the training and to go over the different resources that are available in the community that they can look to if they need child care or other related things.”

Haboush-Deloye also said the class allows single parents to provide their input on what should be part of the overall program.

“It’s part of a research study and we ask the participants what their feedback is,” she said. “We want to know if the information was useful and relevant to the single parent. This is a pilot program, so we want to make adjustments to it based on feedback if necessary.”

On the issue of child deaths at the hands of caregivers, Haboush-Deloye said the rate is roughly 20 to 30 percent.

She said in too many cases, the single parent doesn’t always recognize a potential threat to their child.

“That’s from non-related caregivers,” she said. “Most typically it’s the mother’s boyfriend, although there has been a case of a girlfriend or a stepmom. That’s why we started this campaign, because once they lose a child, it’s devastating and sometimes they don’t realize some of the signs and symptoms.”

Haboush-Deloye also said at least one parent she knows completely missed the signals her child was giving.

“One mom said her child had become abnormally clingy to her,” she said. “The mom thought it was because of working more. She didn’t think that maybe there was something else going on. That’s why we’re hoping this class will provide parents with more education which will help them become more aware of things to look for in order to keep their child safe.”

The free class is one hour long followed by a focus group to obtain feedback about the training and the materials used in the training.

Registration is necessary to participate.

“If I don’t get enough single parents, I’ll have to cancel, which we had to do a couple of weeks ago,” she said. “We provide them with a free lunch and there will be limited child care available.”

Attendees will also have a chance to win a $50 gift card to Walmart.

Those who participate in a follow-up telephone survey will also be compensated with a guaranteed $15 Walmart gift card.

The Nevada Institute for Children’s Research and Policy received a grant from the Department of Health and Human Services to implement the program in Clark, Washoe, and Nye counties, and Carson City.

According to its website, The Nevada Institute for Children’s Research and Policy is a not-for-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to improving the lives of children through research, advocacy, and other specialized services.

To register for the parenting class, call (702) 895-1040

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