Wednesday, February 22, 2012

April is right around the corner. What are you going to do for Child Abuse Prevention Month?

Artwork by MesserWoland [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month.   That can mean something or nothing to the children and youth in the District who are at risk of being abused.   It means something if your organization does something to stop child maltreatment.   It means nothing if you opt out of paying attention to this important, life changing—sometimes life threatening—problem.

So what can you do?   If you work with children and youth, you can ensure that your staff understand their legal responsibility related to reporting by requiring them to take the mandated reporter online training.   Want more training than that?   Contact Safe Shores to schedule a Stewards of Children training (contact Jessica Galimore via email).

Do you work with families?   Have you considered providing a series of workshops to help parents reduce their stress and better understand and deal with pressures that otherwise might result in child abuse?

Not a provider?   What about raising money for your favorite child maltreatment organization?   For example, donate funding to Safe Shores so they can train 25 youth workers.   Or engage Columbia Heights/Shaw Family Support Collaborative to provide Solution-Focused Brief Therapy training to staff at your favorite nonprofit.

No matter what you do, please do something.   There were 3,406 children and youth involved with Child and Family Services Agency at the end of FY 2011.   A significant portion of them had been abused.

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