April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time to highlight the importance of individuals and communities working together to keep kids safe and families healthy. One of the most effective ways to do that is by strengthening families to help stop abuse from happening in the first place.
Everyone can play a role in strengthening families, even those individuals who aren’t raising a child or working with children every day. Whether you’re a neighbor, employer, mentor, spiritual leader, service provider or part of a local community organization, you can make a big difference in the life of a family. Examples of what you can do include:
• A family member can offer to babysit so parents can get a little break.
• A neighbor can organize a block party so families can get to know each other.
• Shoveling snow or raking leaves for a young family can lighten their load.
• A flight attendant – or indeed just a fellow passenger – can help a parent who is juggling kids and suitcases on an airplane.
• Recreation centers can host playgroups or other youth activities to give parents a needed break and offer kids outlets for their energy.
• Employers can promote a culture where it is okay for employees to reach out and ask for help.
• Spiritual communities can share articles, tips and/or resources in their member newsletters about coping with parenting challenges.
According to the National Survey of Children’s Health, during the past 12 months, 1 in 5 Colorado parents reported there was no one they felt they could turn to for day-to-day emotional support in raising children. This does not have to be the case! Consider how you might make a difference in the life of even one family in your community. It could be as simple as asking a parent in your neighborhood how they are doing – and then truly listening to their response.
Learn more about child welfare in Weld County by visiting https://www.weldgov.com/departments/human_services/child_welfare.
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