State task force takes new action to stop child abuse

Group creates new commission to oversee efforts

Author: Myra Arthur, Reporter, Anchor, marthur@ksat.com
Published On: Jun 18 2012 04:21:45 PM CDT   Updated On: Jun 18 2012 12:57:42 PM CDT
SAN ANTONIO -

Baby Kaleb Janosik was just two weeks old in July 2011 when he was beaten to death allegedly at the hands of his own father, Justin Janosik.

It is a tragedy all too common in Bexar County.

Last year, 20 children died county-wide as a result of child abuse. There were also more overall incidents of child abuse in San Antonio than in Houston, a city with roughly 800,000 more people.

Those staggering numbers are what brought the Texas Statewide Blue Ribbon Task Force together Monday at St. Peter-St. Joseph Children’s Home. The group’s main goal is stopping child abuse and neglect and now it has created a new commission to help oversee that.

The commission is modeled after the city’s SA2020 initiative, which itself wants to reduce child abuse by 25 percent.

James Castro is a member of the task force and CEO of St. Peter-St. Joseph. He says this new commission is just one step in a much longer journey.

“We need to engage more people who will then engage elected officials and faith-based people,” said Castro, “and that engages people to invest dollars toward making a solution.”

It’s a solution that could prevent deaths like Kaleb’s that happen too often at the hands of the people who are supposed to love them most.