Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Marked

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Since 1983, the month of April has been designated as Child Abuse Prevention Month. Although the prevention of child abuse is important every month, and every day for that matter, the month of April is set aside to highlight the important role that individuals and communities play to reduce and prevent abuse. 

According to childwelfare.gov approximately two million children received prevention services in 2020 nationwide. Additionally, 1.2 million children were receiving services as a result of discoveries being made during a suspected abuse investigation or other response. 

These services could be, but are not limited to, foster care, family maintenance (preservation) or general family support services offered to prevent removal of care by child welfare services. 

It is important to understand that youth who are removed from care will be going through a very traumatic time. 

For some youth, they will never recover from the pain that is caused from being removed from their family; while others may participate in therapy to assist them in their recovery. However, the best way to address the issue of child abuse is prevention. 

Community members can help with the prevention of child abuse of children in our small community by reaching out to neighbors, offering to lend a hand with children, working with local leaders, schools, and other agencies to address the need for services where there is a deficit noted. If you see something, say something. If you suspect abuse or neglect, call the local child abuse hotline (209) 742-0900, or the sheriff’s department immediately. 

Finally, if you are approached by a family or individual seeking your help, it’s important to act without judgment. A family or individual seeking help may be embarrassed or in a state of crisis; it is crucial to defuse these intensities by acting in a way of support. Being in a rural community may make it harder for individuals and children alike to gain access to others who have the ability to help; passing judgment or anger could put further barriers in place. 

To find more information on prevention and support visit: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/preventing/preventionmonth/

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