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Child abuse campaign warns parents to be careful who they let around their children

Posted at 6:18 PM, Feb 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-14 18:18:16-05

A Valentine's Day message from the Lorain County Children Services warns against the dark side of love.

It reads, "Choose Your Partner Carefully." This comes after the death of two toddlers in recent months.

In November, police say 2-year-old Brandon Williams II died after he suffered second degree burns. According to police, it happened at the hands of his mother's boyfriend, Andre Moore, who was allegedly abusive to the child.

Unfortunately, tragic cases like this are a reflection of a larger trend.

"What we saw when it came to serious injury, including fatalities, that after mom and dad being responsible for caring for the child, it is often that unrelated male adult," said Lorain County Children's Services Executive Director Scott Ferris.

Ferris says this is especially true when it came to young mothers.

"People really need to know who they have around their child," said Ferris.

It was this concern that led the agency to launch the new "Choose Your Partner Carefully" campaign. 

"We need a way to help young moms better identify someone before they let them into their home," said Ferris.

As part of the initiative, the agency established a questionnaire.

"How does he talk about former girlfriends or the women in his family? How does he treat your child?" Ferris said.

Child Services also encourages single parents to utilize public court records to see if their partner may have a secret criminal past. He said this is a way for the agency to proactively protect children.

"Unsafe sleep, never shake a baby, all of these injuries and deaths are preventable," said Ferris.

Recently, child protection agencies near and far got wind of what Lorain County is doing. Ferris said he's gotten calls from as far as Nevada from an agency looking to duplicate this campaign.