30 Apr Prevent Child Abuse
Children aren’t meant to live in foster care. Unfortunately, sometimes to be safe, children must be removed from their homes and placed into foster care while their parents have a chance to remedy the reasons that the home was unsafe. But could situations like this be avoided? In many cases, the answer is yes. Yes, if warning signs were noticed earlier. Yes, if supports were put into place. Yes, if resources were available. Yes, if education was provided.
All throughout April, Child Abuse Prevention Month, has been recognized. Those of us in the child welfare field have tried to raise awareness. We’ve worn blue. We’ve planted pinwheel gardens. We’ve shared the Child Abuse Hotline number (800-482-5964). We’ve flooded social media and hashtagged our hearts out.
This is a year-round issue and most everyone I know in the child welfare field wants to work themselves out of job. We want kids safe. We want kids loved. We want happy childhoods. So here are a few practical tips to help make kids safer.
- First and foremost, report all abuse and neglect to the Child Abuse Hotline (800-482-5964). DO NOT assume someone else will do it. DO NOT assume it isn’t your business. Keeping kids safe is everyone’s business and responsibility.
- If a child is in immediate danger, call the police. And still make a call to the Child Abuse Hotline. It may seem unnecessary, but it covers all bases.
- Keep eyes on kids. The more eyes on a child, the less opportunity for abuse.
- As a parent, you can give yourself a Time Out. Separate yourself from situations that make you stressed or angry. When you’ve calmed down, come back and deal with the situation. Know it’s okay to put a crying baby in their bed and walk away if you need to do so. Again, you can come back when you calm down.
- Help out a friend, neighbor, or relative. We all need a helping hand sometimes. Maybe it’s folding laundry, babysitting, or being a supportive sounding board.
- Many communities offer story time, support groups, parenting classes, and many other resources. Search these out for yourself or share about resources for other parents.
- Educate yourself and others. Know the signs of abuse and neglect.
- Make sure children know they have a right to be safe and know to report abuse to safe adults.
- Volunteer your time. Contact us @ Pulaski County CASA if you want to find out more about becoming a Court Appointed Special Advocate.
Please join us in focusing on preventing child abuse, not just in April, but all year, every year. Because it shouldn’t hurt to be a child.