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April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. MountainHeart Community Services Inc. encourages all individuals and organizations to play a role in making every community a better place for children and families. By ensuring that parents have the knowledge, skills, and resources that they need to care for their children, we can help prevent child abuse and neglect by creating strong and thriving children, youth, and families in our communities. Research shows that protective factors are present in healthy families. Protective factors are conditions or attributes of individuals, families, communities, or the large society that reduce 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 skills and child/youth development

• Social connections

• Concrete support for parents

• Social and emotional competence of children

April is a time to celebrate the important role the communities play in protecting children and strengthening families. Michelle Talkington, Community Resource and Outreach Specialist, stated “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.”

In support of these efforts, the Children’s Bureau, within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in collaboration with its information service, the Child Welfare Information Gateway, the Office on Child Abuse and Neglect, the FRIENDS National Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention, and over 30 national prevention partners, has created the 2019/2020 Prevention Resource Guide: Strong and Thriving Families. The Resource Guide, designed for service providers who work throughout the community to support families is available online at:

https://childwelfare.gov/topics/preventing/preventionmonth/resources/resource-guide/

For additional information, call the local MountainHeart office at 304637-2840.

MountainHeart Community Child Care Resources and Referral is a program of MountainHeart Community Services Inc. This Program is being presented with financial assistance as a grant from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.

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