(Joplin, MO) – Throughout this year, especially in April, Children’s Center of Southwest Missouri celebrates twenty-five years of shining a light on awareness to help Prevent Child Abuse. Child abuse is a severe public health problem that affects one in seven children. No community, neighborhood, or family is immune from the impact of child abuse. But, the good news is child abuse is preventable!
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. This month and throughout the year, Children’s Center encourages all individuals and organizations to play a role in making our community a better place for children and families. By ensuring that parents have the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to care for their children, we can help promote children and youth’s social and emotional well-being and prevent child maltreatment within families and communities.
Protective factors are the strengths and resources families draw on during difficult times to shield them from life’s stresses. Research shows that when parents possess protective factors, the risk for neglect and abuse diminishes, and optimal outcomes for children, youth, and families are promoted. Major protective factors include knowledge of parenting, knowledge of child development, parental resilience, social connections, and concrete supports.
“April is a time to celebrate the important role that communities play in shining a light on the importance of protecting children and strengthening families,” said Desireè Breidenstein, Community Outreach Coordinator. “Everyone’s participation is critical. Spotlighting ways to connect with families is the best thing our community can do to strengthen families and prevent child abuse and neglect.”
In support of these efforts, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children’s Bureau, Office on Child Abuse and Neglect, together with Child Welfare Information Gateway, and the FRIENDS National Resource Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention developed the 2021–2022 Prevention Resource Guide. The guide provides more information about protective factors and highlights examples of innovative prevention approaches being implemented by communities across the country.
For more information about child abuse prevention programs and activities during the month of April, and throughout the year, contact Children’s Center of Southwest Missouri.
Reference, press only:
Desiree Breidenstein, Community Outreach Coordinator
Children’s Center of Southwest Missouri
About Children’s Center of Southwest Missouri:
The Children’s Center of Southwest Missouri exists because child abuse exists and impacts children and families in our community. The Center’s purpose is to assist in the investigation and treatment of child abuse and neglect. Children’s Center also educates children and adults to recognize, report, and prevent child sexual abuse.
In 2021, Children’s Center served 1,120 children who experienced one or many forms of abuse: physical, sexual, emotional, or neglect. Since opening the doors in 1997, the Center has served over 20,000 children in Southwest Missouri.