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Education

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month

Each year, the Children’s Bureau releases a detailed report of national data about child abuse and neglect known to child protective services agencies in the United States. The 2019 Child Maltreatment Report is an important resource relied upon by researchers, practitioners, and advocates throughout the world. 

The report answers questions such as:

  • How many children are the subject of child abuse and neglect reports each year?
  • What types of maltreatment are reported?
  • What are the ages, genders, and other characteristics of child victims?
  • How many children die each year from child maltreatment?

It also provides information about the services provided by State and local child protective services (CPS) agencies to children and families each year. These services, provided both when children remain in their homes and when they must enter foster care, are intended to remedy the conditions that brought the family to the attention of the CPS agency and/or to prevent future instances of child maltreatment:

  • Approximately 2 million children received prevention services in 2019.
  • Approximately 1.3 million children received post-response services (such as family preservation, family support, or foster care) because of needs discovered during an investigation or alternative response.
  • During Federal fiscal year 2019, fewer than one-quarter (22.9 percent) of confirmed maltreatment victims were removed from their homes because of an investigation or alternative response.

These data include only services provided or funded by State and local CPS agencies. We also recognize the critical work of the thousands of community-based agencies that offer additional services to these and other families to help keep children safe and help their families thrive.

Ten Ways to Help Prevent Child Abuse

  1. Be a nurturing parent. Children need to know that they are special, loved, and capable of following their dreams.’
  2. Help a friend, neighbor, or relative. Being a parent isn’t easy. Offer a helping hand to take care of the children, so the parent(s) can rest or spend time together.
  3. Help yourself. When the big and little problems of your everyday life pile up to the point you feel overwhelmed and out of control—take time out. Don’t take it out on your kid.
  4. If your baby cries… It can be frustrating to hear your baby cry. Learn what to do if your baby won’t stop crying. Never shake a baby—shaking a child may result in severe injury or death.
  5. Get involved. Ask your community leaders, clergy, library, and schools to develop services to meet the needs of healthy children and families.
  6. Help to develop parenting resources at your local library. Find out whether your local library has parenting resources, and if it does not, offer to help obtain some.
  7. Promote programs in school. Teaching children, parents, and teachers prevention strategies can help to keep children safe.
  8. Monitor your child’s television, video, and internet viewing/usage. Excessively watching violent films, TV programs, and videos can harm young children.
  9. Volunteer at a local child abuse prevention program. For information about volunteer opportunities, call 1.800.CHILDREN or contact your local Prevent Child Abuse America chapter.
  10. Report suspected abuse or neglect. If you have reason to believe a child has been or may be harmed, call your local department of children and family services or your local police department.

Valley Professionals currently offers parenting groups such as 1-2-3 Magic and outpatient therapy for family and stress management. Valley also provides addiction programming at multiple sites.

By: Lacey Skwortz, LCSW

https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/preventing/preventionmonth/about/child-maltreatment-data/

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