A reported 1,750 children died from abuse and neglect in the United States in Federal fiscal year 2020, according to the latest national data. Child protective services investigated or responded to more than 3 million allegations of child maltreatment across the country, and a total of 618,000 children were found to be victims of child maltreatment.
This April, we recognize National Child Abuse Prevention Month, an initiative rooted in communities working together to serve children and their families in meaningful, impactful ways that provide families what they need to thrive, even throughout adversity.
Each year, we educate and raise awareness about the impact child abuse has on children and society. Providing information about comprehensive best-practices that are known to build parental capacity through protective factors is key in helping families become more resilient.
Protective factors are conditions or attributes that mitigate or eliminate risk and can increase the health and well-being of children and families. They provide parents with the tools they need to parent effectively, even under stress. Major protective factors include knowledge of parenting, knowledge of child development, parental resilience, social connections, and concrete supports.
National Child Abuse Prevention Month is more than just raising awareness about the reality of child maltreatment. It's about taking action to reduce it. Douglas County can join in this national effort by providing our families with the support they need. There are certain issues such as a family’s neighborhood, income level, or other societal factors that can make parenting more challenging. By reducing these vulnerabilities through strengths-based approaches that truly support families, we can begin to mitigate child maltreatment and improve the outcomes of children, youth, and families.