April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time to recognize that we each can play a part in promoting the social and emotional well-being of children and families in communities. As part of this awareness month, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services encourages individuals and organizations to play a role in making their communities a better place for families by ensuring that parents have the knowledge, skills and resources they need to care for their children.
Research shows that six important factors are present in healthy families. Promoting these factors is among the most effective ways to reduce the risk of child abuse and neglect. They are:
- Nurturing and attachment
- Knowledge of parenting and of child and youth development
- Parental resilience
- Social connections
- Concrete supports for parents
- Social and emotional competence of children
In support of these efforts, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children’s Bureau, Office on Child Abuse and Neglect, the Child Welfare Information Gateway and other partners have created Preventing Child Maltreatment and Promoting Well-Being: A Network for Action 2013 Resource Guide. The guide, designed for service providers who work throughout the community to strengthen families, is available online at https://www.childwelfare.gov/preventing/preventionmonth/guide2013/index.cfm.
Childwelfare.gov is full of useful information and tools to help families support each other and prevent child abuse during this awareness month! There are even tip sheets for parents and caregivers that cover children from infants to teens. For more information about child abuse prevention programs and activities during the month of April, visit http://www.childwelfare.gov/preventing/preventionmonth/.