What’s What Wednesday: Child Abuse Prevention
April is Child Abuse Awareness month. Prevention is the best hope for reducing child abuse and neglect and improving the lives of children and families. Strengthening families and preventing child abuse requires a shared commitment of individuals and organizations in every community. While April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, you can make a big difference year-round through small acts that help protect children, strengthen families, promote traits that help protect families and, ultimately, prevent the abuse and neglect of children. This week Sunshine State Counseling Center has a list of ways to support families and protect children year round created by the American Humane Association:
- It is important to block out 15 minutes a day to “play” one-on-one with your child — doing something that he or she wants. We know from studies that the more parents engage in positive activities with their children, the less they use negative physical and psychological discipline.
- Tell the children or youth in your life how much you care for them and appreciate them. All children deserve to have someone who is “crazy about them” and loves them unconditionally.
- Offer your time to baby-sit for the child of a friend, neighbor, or family member. All parents and guardians need help sometimes — even if it is just to rest or “recharge” for an hour or two.
- Do volunteer work for a youth- or family-serving organization in your community. Some families just need a little help from time to time and there are community organizations designed to do just that.
- If you have reason to believe a child may be at risk of harm in their home, call your local child abuse hotline. Anyone who is worried about the well-being of a child can call to report their concerns.