Each April Children’s Home Society of NC (CHS) recognizes National Child Abuse Prevention Month to reinforce the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse and neglect. This is a time to celebrate all the good things our communities do to promote healthy child development and reflect on the work that still remains.
Last year there were 121,000 investigated reports of abuse and neglect in North Carolina. Research shows that protective factors are present in healthy families. Protective factors are conditions or attributes of individuals, families, communities, or the larger society that mitigate risk and promote healthy development and wellbeing.
Promoting the following protective factors is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of child abuse and neglect:
· Nurturing and attachment
· Knowledge of parenting and of child and youth development
· Parental resilience
· Social connections
· Concrete supports for parents
· Social and emotional competence of children
“Today, with the COVID-19 situation, people are experiencing many forms of overwhelming stress. Individuals and families are more isolated than in previous times,” said Rebecca Starnes, CHS Vice President of Programs.
“The hopeful news is that families have support. Parents can learn about their children’s needs and learn new, better ways to react. Parents can change their behavior, and even if they’ve had problems or challenges in the past, the majority can provide a safe, loving, and permanent home for their child,” Starnes added.