National Child Abuse Prevention Month acknowledges the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse and neglect. During April, as well as throughout the year, communities are encouraged to share child abuse and neglect awareness strategies. We share the goal of encouraging all individuals and organizations to help make all of our communities a better place for children and families.
How can we help reduce the risk of child neglect and abuse? Research shows that when parents possess six protective factors, the risk for neglect and abuse diminishes and optimal outcomes for children, youth and families are promoted. The six protective factors are the following:
- Nurturing and attachment
- Knowledge of parenting and of child and youth development
- Parental resilience
- Social connections
- Concrete supports for parents
- Social and emotional developmental well-being
April is a time to celebrate the important role that communities play in protecting children. Focusing on ways to build and promote the protective factors, in every interaction with children and families, is the best thing our community can do to prevent child maltreatment and to promote optimal child development.
The first child federal protection legislation, the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), was signed into the law by President Nixon on January 31, 1974. The Act signaled the beginning of a national response to child abuse and neglect, and provided federal assistance to States to prevent, to identify and to treat child abuse and neglect.
For more information on this important topic, go to National Child Abuse Prevention Month 2014.