April is Child Abuse Prevention Month
Healthy Start and Prevent Child Abuse Florida encourage all Floridians to participate in 2019 National Child Abuse Prevention Month by sharing their time and talents to help create better, brighter futures for children and families. Even simple actions can make a big difference in the lives of children and families.
“Everyone wants to provide and nurture their child in a positive, healthy environment, but sometimes parents need a little extra support every now and then,” said Chris Lolley, executive director of Prevent Child Abuse Florida. “That’s why we’re asking everyone to proactively engage parents in their local community and offer their support—whether it’s by making a meal for a family, reading to or tutoring a child, or even hosting a kid-friendly neighborhood block party to help build social connections.”
Families Need Support
In a national survey, 94% of parents said they needed help of some kind; 86% said they would be grateful for services, childcare or other support. However, in a separate study, fewer than 20% of parents said they would actually seek help.
“While our goal is to help create great childhoods for all children, it’s important that parents get the support they need in order to do so,” explained Prevent Child Abuse America president and CEO Dan Duffy. “Despite the best intentions, parenting can be challenging. We want to help people understand that it’s possible to do the things they love—cooking, making art or music, reading, or playing sports—and, at the same time, help families and their community thrive.”
What You Can Do
These simple actions and countless others can make a difference in a child’s life and help support parents while doing what you love:
- Love to read? Volunteer for an after-school reading program or book club—you’ll help kids develop important skills, build relationships and spark their imaginations, too.
- Love to cook? Give a new mom a break by bringing over dinner.
- Have a passion for sports? Coach a youth sports team to teach kids the value of teamwork—they’ll learn how to trust teammates and themselves.
- Love to host events? Organize a kid-friendly BBQ or a block party so parents can socialize without the stress of finding a sitter – social connections with other parents help to establish a strong support network.
- Want your voice to be heard? Contact your elected officials and urge them to support policies and programs that promote safe, healthy childhoods.
“We all share a responsibility for the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of children and their families,” added Lolley. “I encourage everyone in the state to do what they love this April and help ensure great childhoods in their community.”
To learn more, visit www.PreventChildAbuseFL.org.
What can YOU commit to doing to help prevent child abuse? Share in the comments!
Interested in volunteering with Healthy Start? Contact Patricia McMahon at [email protected] or call 941-373-7070.