April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. MountainHeart Community Services, Inc. encourages all individuals and organizations to play a role in making every community a better place for children and families. By ensuring that parents have the knowledge, skills, and resources that they need to care for their children, everyone can help prevent child abuse and neglect by creating strong and thriving children, youth, and families in the communities. Research shows that protective factors are present in healthy families. Protective factors are conditions or attributes of individuals, families, communities, or the large society that reduce risk and promote healthy development and wellbeing. Promoting the following protective factors is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of child abuse and neglect:
- Nurturing and attachment;
- Knowledge of parenting skills and child/youth development;
- Social connections;
- Concrete support for parents; and
- Social and emotional competence of children.
April is a time to celebrate the important role the communities play in protecting children and strengthening families. Peggy Rittenhouse, community resource and outreach specialist, stated “Everyone’s participation is critical. Focusing on ways to connect with families is the best things our community can do to strengthen families and prevent child abuse and neglect.”
In support of these efforts, the Children’s Bureau, within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in collaboration with its information service, the Child Welfare Information Gateway, the Office of Child Abuse and Neglect, the FRIENDS National Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention, and over 30 national prevention partners, has created the 2021/2022 Prevention Resource Guild: Strong and Thriving Families, Prevention with a Purpose. The resource guide, designed for service providers who work throughout the community to support families is available online at https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/preventing/preventionmonth/resources/resource-guide/.
For additional information, please contact the Petersburg office at 304-257-9375.