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* 1. Yes, I want to sign onto the letter to Mr. Corbett and Mr. Wolf asking them to articulate their plan to protect PA's children.

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* 2. I want to sign the letter to Mr. Corbett and Mr. Wolf on behalf of an organization.

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* 3. As an individual, I want to sign onto the child protection letter to Mr. Corbett and Mr. Wolf.

Please note ONLY your name and county of residence/voting will be included on the letter.

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* 4. Comments - ideas for protecting PA kids

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* 5. Here's the text of the sign on letter:

“Action expresses priorities”
Mahatma Gandhi

Dear Mr. Corbett and Mr. Wolf:

We are joined together as advocates for children dedicated to ensuring that every Pennsylvania child is able to live free from abuse and sexual violence and to grow up in safe, supported and permanent families.

We are also linked in understanding that the prevention of child abuse and the implementation of effective interventions is a shared community responsibility – one in which government is a critical, but in no way the singular, partner to healing and changed culture. We also believe that change doesn’t happen without leadership.

This election is shaping up as quite ironic. Virtually every media report about the gubernatorial race is written with some reference to a high-profile child sexual abuse case. Still, both of you have yet to articulate intentional and measured child protection goals. In early September, you were provided with 12 child protection questions developed by the Center for Children’s Justice with guidance from inter-disciplinary stakeholders across the Commonwealth. We hoped by September 30th to know your answers.

As a result of recent of high profile cases, including where children have died, there is enhanced understanding, by the voters, that child abuse is consequential. There are life-long consequences when a child’s trust is betrayed, their body violated.

There is also heightened awareness about the ripple effect on our society, including when taxpayers are asked to aid in fighting the consequences of child maltreatment (e.g., poor school readiness or performance, addiction, chronic health conditions, and crime and corrections). Consider just one state line item linked to child abuse. This fiscal year PA will spend more than $1 billion in state funds to investigate and immediately respond to child abuse. This $1 billion plus figure does not include federal or local funding or private charitable contributions. It also does not capture the long-term and related health, education and social costs. Most troubling is that this $1 billion plus line item is most often about reacting to, not preventing, abuse against PA’s infants, children and youth.

Abused children, especially very young children, are powerless counting on an adult – either operating alone or as part of a system – to step forward and speak up so that cycles of abuse and violence can stop and healing can begin.

And so today we jointly ask, if elected Pennsylvania’s next Governor, how will you step forward and speak up for PA’s at-risk and abused children?