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Child Abuse

National Child Abuse Prevention Month – Small Moments, Can Elicit Big Changes Here on the Suncoast

| Angela Naff |

April is National Child Abuse Prevention month which recognizes the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse and neglect. Prevention services and supports developed by this collaboration can help to protect children and strengthen families. Each year, the Children’s Bureau releases a detailed report featuring national data about child abuse and neglect and the State and local services that address it. Unfortunately, the numbers appear to still be a at a national crisis level in many key areas from malnutrition, fatalities, investigations of child abuse and other concerning factors. While this is a huge crisis area, every voice and person helping can make a difference.

What can each of us do?

Prevent Child Abuse America recognizes that all community members have a role in ensuring children have positive experiences and families have the resources they need when they need them, well before they are in crisis. The theme of this year’s awareness and impact campaign that we lead in partnership with our national network of state chapters, is “Building Together: Prevention in Partnership.”

Child abuse and neglect are preventable, and all communities benefit when children and families are well supported. Get involved to help fundraise, foster if you are so called, volunteer with organizations providing services to at risk populations, and most of all advocate for change.

You can participate in Prevent Child Abuse America’s nationwide digital advocacy day on April 19th. Contact your member of Congress to advocate for increased investments for Title II, Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (CBCAP) grants, of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act to provide states and communities the resources to implement community-based solutions to the prevention of child abuse and neglect. You can also SHARE how CBCAP funding has helped improve your communities.  Sharing your stories can help everyone, including lawmakers, realize the critical role of CBCAP funding!

Child Abuse

Suncoast Child Abuse Resources

Suncoast agencies that work to advocate, support and provide help for those in the system and the caretakers trying to help create brighter futures for victims, include:

  • Careportal – Whether you want to keep one child out of foster care, help one family in crisis stay together or rally your community, CarePortal connects you. This allows you to sign up and help tangibly with real needs from transportation, car seats, meal delivery, mentoring, or other support means.
  • Bridge A Life – We understand the daily joys and struggles of parenting. Sometimes the number of needs and stress can be overwhelming. So, whether it’s providing meals, practical training, or safe and professional childcare for a night out, we support and equip foster and adoptive parents as they impact their children’s lives.
  • Fostering Hope Florida – The foster care system will never change if we don’t leave the sidelines and get in the game. We know you can’t take all vulnerable children into your home, but we can all do something. Please join our team in working towards a day when EVERY foster child has a safe place to heal from trauma.
  • Heart Gallery of Sarasota – The Heart Gallery of Sarasota is working to change children’s lives by giving a voice to our community’s forgotten children through photographs taken by local photographers.
  • Safe Children Coalition – To protect children, strengthen families and build community by allowing all children to grow up in safe, stable, nurturing families and communities.
  • The Twig – We believe that the statistics for the average child in foster care are not okay. We want them to believe in themselves and their future. Our work is to empower these children with the confidence to face their tomorrows with strength. Children who thrive in foster care grow to become adults who want to improve the world. So, by investing in them today, we make a brighter tomorrow for everyone.

Just like plants need good soil to grow, positive childhood experiences in nurturing environments provide fertile ground for physical and mental health, learning, and social skills to flourish. It is more important than ever to help positive childhood experiences take root in your community and across the country. Mobilize your community and take action—so all of us are #GrowingBetterTogether! Get involved and together small steps by many of us, can warrant big changes in the outcomes for child.

Feature Photo Courtesy of Deposit Photos

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