April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

06 April 2017

Child Abuse Prevention Month WidgetApril is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.  Agency of Human Services (AHS) Secretary Al Gobeille and Department for Children and Families (DCF) Commissioner Ken Schatz would like to take this opportunity to thank individuals, organizations and staff across the state who help make Vermont a better, safer place for children.

“Preventing child abuse is not something any one agency, department, organization or family can do alone,” said Secretary Gobeille. “It is up to all of us. When parents have support from friends, neighbors, teachers, doctors, employers and others in the community, they are better able and more likely to provide safe, healthy environments for their children. It truly does take a community to raise a child!”

Research shows that when families have the following six protective factors, the risk for neglect and abuse goes down:

  1. Nurturing and attachment
  2. Knowledge of parenting and of child and youth development
  3. Parental resilience
  4. Social connections
  5. Concrete supports
  6. Social and emotional competence of children

“The Department for Children and Families helps make sure parents have the knowledge, skills and resources they need to care for their children safely and to help them grow and thrive,” said Commissioner Schatz. But you don’t have to be a government agency or community organization to help. All of us can stand up and reach out to support children and families in our communities.”

Here are a few ways you can help:

  • Offer parents a helping hand (e.g., offer to babysit or give children a ride) 
  • Help a family find needed resources
  • Develop supportive relationships with other parents
  • Advocate for programs for children and families in your community
  • Volunteer to be a mentor for a child or teen
  • Call 1-800-649-5285 if you have concerns about a child’s safety and well-being

Helpful Resources for Parents & Family Members
Visit protectkids.vt.gov to:

  • Educate yourself about child abuse and things you can do to help prevent it
  • Find resources that can help you care for your family

Helpful Resources for Mandated Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect
Visit mandatedreporters.vt.gov to:

  • Connect to online mandated reporter training
  • Sign up to get email updates on child protection issues

Helpful Resources for Child and Family-Serving Organizations
Visit https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/preventing/preventionmonth/ to:

  • Find resources you can use in your work with children and families
  • Learn more about protective factors that can help keep children safe