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Following Faith

Mormon church honored for efforts to help child abuse victims

First Published      Last Updated Jun 06 2017 01:18 pm

The National Children's Alliance has honored the LDS Church's advocacy for protection of — and supportive care for — victims of child abuse.

The alliance presented its National Philanthropy Leadership Award to Joy D. Jones, general president of the church's Primary organization, during a Sunday reception in Washington, D.C.

The group praised the Utah-based faith for its "compassionate, committed leadership among communities of faith as a national philanthropic partner of the National Children's Alliance and the Children's Advocacy Center movement, in addition to its long-standing support for Utah Children's Justice Centers."

Jones stressed that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Primary organization, which represents about 1 million children worldwide, works with other faith groups and social service agencies to make a difference in addressing child abuse issues.




"[The award] is a delightful honor for the church to receive," Jones said in a news release, " ... but our commitment continues. We have much work to do, and this is really only the beginning."

In April, Jones and leaders from the church's adult women's Relief Society, Young Women and Primary organizations toured the South Valley Children's Justice Center in West Jordan and presented a check for $120,000. The money went toward medical supplies for child abuse victims at eight justice centers throughout Utah.

Alliance Executive Director Teresa Huizar said in the release that people of faith play a critical role by partnering in her organization's mission.

"Faith communities have a unique opportunity to be at the forefront of protecting children," she said, "because families and communities really listen to them and turn to them for support and guidance."

Susanne Mitchell, director of the Salt Lake County Children's Justice Center, was also honored by the alliance. She received the Horowitz-Barker Lifetime Achievement Award for her decades of leadership and service to children.

Utah opened its first Children's Justice Center in Salt Lake County more than 25 years ago. There are new more than 20 locations statewide, serving approximately 5,500 young victims annually.

remims@sltrib.com

Twitter: @remims

 

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