Posts tagged Child Welfare League of America

National Child Abuse Prevention Month

April is child abuse prevention month.  Although we should raise awareness about child abuse and neglect and ways to prevent such abuse and neglect 365 days a year, April is a the beginning of Spring and beautiful things, including love. So, please take time out of your busy schedules to raise awareness about child abuse and encourage all to support children and families suffering from abuse and neglect.

April was proclaimed the National Child Abuse Prevention Month in 1983.   From 1983 to the present, child abuse and neglect prevention awareness has been promoted across the country during  the month of April.   The Blue Ribbon Champaign to Prevent Child Abuse started in 1989.  It’s beginnings, sadly, started due to a grandmother’s memorial of her grandchild who died as a result of abuse.   This grandmother in mourning tied a blue ribbon on her car antenna in remembrance of her grandchild and to raise awareness of the dangers of child abuse and neglect.  

Please take time this month to help prevent child abuse and neglect by raising awareness of the subject or volunteering your time at a local child welfare agency.   Below are a list of ways you can also do during the month of April in support of National Child Abuse Prevention Month. 

  • VOLUNTEER.  This can include starting a playgroup, helping out at an afterschool program (or starting one), participating at parent education, creating a mentoring program or providing support to all of these types of programs.   Voice your concerns about child abuse and neglect in your community and spread the word on prevention.   Become a CASA (click here for more information on volunteering with CASA). 
  • GIVE YOURSELF A TIME-OUT.    NEVER discipline your children while you are angry.   Before giving your child a time-out, you should take one in order to calm down.   Using words and actions while angry can lead to long-term damage.  Your WORDS and CONDUCT can leave deep wounds.   Teach your children (and other adults around you) that you can solve problems without yelling or hitting.  Abuse is not merely physical, it is also yelling at your child, including the words one is bound to use in anger while yelling. 
  • STOP ABUSE BEFORE IT STARTS.  Invest in abuse prevention programs, such as parenting classes for new parents, family counseling for families suffering from divorce, loss of income or a serious illness.  
  • EDUCATE YOURSELF.   Know  the signs of child abuse.  Also, know what child abuse is.  Most people think child abuse is either physical or sexual.  However, these are only two types of child abuse.  Maltreatment, neglect and emotional abuse are all types of child abuse.   Signs of abuse range from fear of particular adults (or older children – a lot of times, people focus on adults, but older siblings, cousins, uncles, aunts, etc. can also abuse a child), to unexplained injuries, changes in eating and sleeping habits, inappropriate sexual behavior, secrecy and hostility or anger.  
  • REPORT IT!  If you suspect a child is abused, please report it to your local child protective service department or your local police department.   Do not let fear stop you from protecting an innocent and defenseless child.  
  • RAISE PUBLIC AWARENESS.   Fly your Children’s Memorial Flag (click here to purchase) on April 23, 2010 (4th Friday in April) , which is Children’s Memorial Day, to show your support for Child Abuse Prevention.  
  • SUPPORT THE CHILDREN’S MEMORIAL FLAG POSTAGE STAMP INITIATIVE.   Child Welfare League of America and Alameda County (note to my readers, you’ll hear more about my love for Alameda County.  It’s where I plan to practice law.) have submitted a proposal for the Children’s Memorial Flag to be commemorated on a U.S. postal stamp.  For more information on this initiative, go to http://www.cwla.org/advocacy/stampsignatories.asp.  Please support the Child Welfare League of America and sign their petition.   

Check back with Always Chasing Justice during the month of April to follow some of the many awareness and preventive activities taking place across the country.    To start your April off on a positive note, tomorrow, Thursday, April 1st, create a comfortable place for families to meet and talk.   This is a first step in preventing child abuse and neglect.    I hope I can get all of your support in spreading the word about National Child Abuse Prevention Month, Children’s Memorial Day, the Children’s Memorial Flag (please go out and purchase your flag) and the Children’s Memorial Flag Postage Stamp.  

If you are interested in learing more about National Child Abuse Prevention Month, you can obtain information from the Office on Child Abuse and Neglect (OCAN) within the Children’s Bureau, which is responsible for coordinating Child Abuse Prevention Month.  OCAN provides information and releases updated national statistics about child abuse and neglect each April.  

(If you are interested in a historical outline of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, click here.)

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