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April 2008Vol. 9, No. 3April Is Child Abuse Prevention Month

This year marks the 25th annual recognition of National Child Abuse Prevention Month. For a quarter of a century, the Office on Child Abuse and Neglect (OCAN) within the Children's Bureau has coordinated many of the activities associated with this April observance, including the release of national statistics on child maltreatment. In recent years, the emphasis has shifted to coordinated efforts by many organizations across the country focused on strengthening and supporting families as they strive to provide safe, loving environments for their children.

The theme of strengthening families and communities is evident in the 2008 prevention resource packet, Promoting Healthy Families in Your Community. The packet was developed by OCAN, Child Welfare Information Gateway, the FRIENDS National Resource Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention, and numerous national organizations and stakeholders, and it was released in time for organizations to obtain and distribute it as part of their National Child Abuse Prevention Month activities.

The packet materials support a wide range of service providers who work with parents, other caregivers, and their children with the common goal of promoting healthy families. The packet, which is an update and enhancement of the 2007 edition, discusses strategies for workers to develop and enhance five important factors that can help families protect children from the risk of abuse and neglect. Included are parenting tip sheets in both English and Spanish for workers to share with parents. The packet also describes ways to engage the community in family strengthening efforts and includes information on understanding and reporting child maltreatment.

More information on National Child Abuse Prevention Month and recent prevention efforts can be found in the updates to the Preventing Child Abuse & Neglect section of the Child Welfare Information Gateway website. This section includes new pages addressing cultural competence, shaken baby syndrome, preventing community violence, and family engagement and retention in prevention services.

Visit the Information Gateway website to view or order the 2008 Resource Packet or to find additional resources to support Child Abuse Prevention Month activities: