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      Local agencies team up to fight child abuse

      April is Child Abuse Awareness month; and Richland County officials are taking another step to prevent that.

      Law Enforcement from around the county, along with officials from Child Protective Services, Solicitor's Office, and health professionals came together for the signing of the Multidisciplinary Child Abuse Response Team on Friday.

      The team was created by the Assessment and Resource Center; a nationally accredited children's advocacy center in the Midlands. The team meets regularly to make sure all agencies work together to help with suspicious child abuse cases that include physical and sexual abuse, as well as neglect.

      Columbia Police Chief Randy Scott said it is crucial for everyone to assist in such cases.

      "When it comes to a child, and the abuses that we see our children go through, it is not just us. It is not just the police department, but everyone at the table being able to come together."

      The ARC program began in 1990 and has evolved into a multi-agency network ever since.