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Friday, April 3, 2009

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

Increased stress within families due to the economic downturn, coupled with tighter budgets for services for struggling children and families have child advocates calling for increased awareness of the problem of child abuse and neglect and ways it can be prevented.  In response, the Kansas Children’s Service League (KCSL), as the Prevent Child Abuse Kansas Chapter, has initiated the “Safe and Strong – Right from the Start” campaign.

We all play a role in raising children and the prevention of child abuse and neglect," says Vicky Roper, Director of Education and Awareness for KCSL and the PCA Kansas Chapter Director. The actions we take to promote healthy child development are the very actions that help to prevent child abuse and neglect, like parent-child interaction and understanding child development milestones.

According to Roper, individuals can help play a role in the prevention of child abuse and neglect in the following ways: 

-       Advocate: Help change the way our state and nation thinks about prevention by focusing on community activities and public policies that prioritize prevention right from the start. Contact local, state and national law makers about the importance of prevention programs.

-       Volunteer: Serve on a committee or board. We all play a role in raising children whether we are neighbors, educators, caregivers or family members.

-       Educate: Contact local school districts and faith communities about sponsoring classes for parents. Be a mentor to a new parent; share your skills with your neighbors. A healthy, nurturing environment for children is one of the best lifelong investments we can make.

-       Support: Get to know and support the children and families in your community. With the support of engaged communities and nurturing families, all of our children can thrive. Know the resources available in your community and how to connect families to them. Call the Parent Helpline at 1-800-332-6378.

-       Report: Recognize the signs and symptoms of child abuse. If you suspect child abuse and/or neglect call 1-800-922-5330.

For a list of statewide Child Abuse Prevention Month Activities, visit



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