April is National Child Abuse Prevention month how to help

April is National Child Abuse Prevention month how to help

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month

Eight Ways to Help Prevent Child Abuse and Support Good Parenting

In the United States, the month of April is recognized as National Child Abuse Prevention Month. This month is dedicated to preventing child abuse and neglect.

As the month approaches, we'd like to remind you to continue to do your part to prevent child abuse in America. Here are eight things you can do to increase the safety of children and youth.

Spread the word

With social media at the forefront of everyone's lives, you can use your platform to speak out against child abuse. You can also share reliable resources about what it means to be a nurturing parent.

You can also use your voice to talk with people out in the community. Your target audience should be:

  • Family members
  • Foster families
  • Adoptive families
  • Birth parents
  • Support groups of children in foster care
  • Social workers

Use your platform to get people more interested in what child abuse is and what it looks like. The more you reach out, the more protection a child has from being abused or neglected in the future.

Provide Resources

Providing resources, access, and sharing information will help others prevent child abuse.

Most private agencies have excellent education materials they would love to share with you. This also includes adoption agencies and the Department of Children and Families Services.

Educate Yourself

Educating yourself by getting involved in after-school activities, parent education classes, and mentoring programs are ways to help you keep children safe from harm.

Another thing to learn about preventing child abuse is protective factors.

According to www.childwelfare.gov, protective factors are conditions that, when present in families and communities, increase the well-being of children and families and reduce the likelihood of maltreatment.

Identifying protective factors helps parents/caregivers find resources, supports, or coping strategies that allow them to parent even under stress.

There are six protective factors:

  • Nurturing and attachment
  • Knowledge of parenting and child and youth development
  • Parental resilience
  • Social connections
  • Concrete support for parents
  • Social and emotional competence of children


Volunteer your time

Get involved in your community. If you can, be present and let the children know you are there and care. Your positive presence alone will mean the world to a child and can also be a preventative measure. 

Teach children their rights

If children know what their rights are, they will be able to advocate for themselves. If they know their rights, they can be more vocal and know when something is wrong. When children are taught they are unique and have the right to be safe they are less likely to think abuse is their fault and more likely to report an offender.

Know what child abuse is 

There are many different types of abuse. The most common that comes to mind is physical abuse and sexual contact. However, there are other forms of abuse that biological parents need to consider.

The Washington State site states,

"Physical and sexual abuse constitute maltreatment, but so does neglect, or the failure of parents or other caregivers to provide a child with needed food, clothing, and care. Children can also be emotionally abused when they are rejected, criticized, or isolated."

Know the signs

A few signs to watch for are:

  • Depression
  • Fear of a specific adult
  • Difficulty trusting others or making friends
  • Sudden changes in eating or sleeping patterns
  • Negative sexual behavior
  • Poor hygiene
  • Secrecy and hostility

There are often signs of family problems. They may indicate a child is being neglected or physically, sexually, or emotionally abused. 

Report abuse

If you witness a child being harmed or see evidence of abuse, make a report to your state's Child Protective Services Department or local police.

When talking to a child about abuse, listen carefully, assure the child that they did the right thing by telling an adult, and affirm that they are not responsible for what happened.

We aren't saying that you must be the leading advocate against child abuse or take it up as your sole purpose and focus. However, it does take a village, and with you being a part of it, anything you can provide will help.


At FosterVA and Extra Special Parents, we are all about child abuse prevention every minute of the day. While April is the recognized month to acknowledge child abuse prevention, I encourage you to become galvanized to do your part to contribute to the prevention of child abuse. Let's continue investing in our children because they are the future.

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