April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

ELKINS — April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. This month and throughout the year, MountainHeart Community Services encourages all individuals and organizations to play a role in making West Virginia a better place for children and families.

By ensuring that parents have the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to care for their children, the community can help prevent child abuse and neglect by making meaningful connections with children, youth and families.

Research shows that protective factors are present in healthy families. Promoting these factors is among the most effective ways to reduce the risk of child abuse and neglect. They are: Nurturing and attachment; knowledge of parenting and of child and youth development; parental resilience; social connections; concrete supports for parents; and social and emotional competence of children.

“April is a time to celebrate the important role that communities play in protecting children and strengthening families,” said Melodee Price, early childhood specialist. “Everyone’s participation is critical. Focusing on ways to connect with families is the best thing our community can do to strengthen families and prevent child abuse and neglect.”

• There will be a proclamation signing at Elkins City Hall at 11 a.m. Monday to recognize April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.

“Making a Difference” will be offered as a two-hour child-abuse-prevention training at the Davis Memorial Presbyterian Church from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday.

In support of these efforts, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Children’s Bureau, Office on Child Abuse and Neglect, its Child Welfare Information Gateway, the FRIENDS National Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention and more than 30 National Prevention Partners have created 2016/2017 Prevention Resource Guide: Building Community, Building Hope.

The resource guide, designed for service providers who work throughout the community to strengthen families, is available online by visiting https://childwelfare.com/topics/preventing/preventionmonth/resource-guide/.

For more information about child-abuse-prevention programs and activities during the month of April and throughout the year, Price can be contacted at MountainHeart Community Services at Melodee.B.Price@wv.gov or 304-637-2840.

MountainHeart Child Care Resource and Referral is a program of MountainHeart Community Services Inc. and is funded under an agreement with the DHHR office of Early Care and Education. This program was established in 1992.