Local

Funds From New License Plate Will Help Prevent Child Abuse

OPB | Oct. 15, 2012 3:43 p.m. | Updated: Oct. 16, 2012 2:32 a.m. | Portland

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Oregon drivers are getting their first look at the state’s newest specialty license plate.  Monday, Oregon’s Department of Motor Vehicles began issuing the “Keep Kids Safe” plate.  The surcharge supports efforts to prevent child abuse.

The new plate released Oct. 15.

The new plate released Oct. 15.

Here’s a number for you — the state of Oregon had more than 11,000 confirmed cases of child abuse and neglect in 2010.  But, when Hillary Saraceno talks about that statistic, those numbers become faces.

“And that’s equivalent to more than a 170 school buses full of children, half of which were less than 6 years of age,” Saraceno says.

Saraceno is Director of the Deschutes County Children & Families Commission.  She says for the past 6 years she and others have pushed Oregon legislators to approve a child abuse prevention license plate. 

The bill established a funding model in which each of Oregon’s 36 counties gets a minimum payment. 

Counties with more plate registrations will get more money to distribute to child abuse prevention programs. Saraceno expects the plates could bring in more than half a million dollars annually.

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