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April 2011Vol. 12, No. 3April Is National Child Abuse Prevention Month

Observed every April since 1984, National Child Abuse Prevention Month provides an opportunity to promote child abuse awareness activities and events aimed at protecting children and supporting families. National Child Abuse Prevention Month's theme, "Strengthening Families and Communities," emphasizes the importance of building on families' resources to create a safer and more nurturing environment for children. 

The Prevention Month resource guide has been updated to reflect the latest research and information. Designed to inform and support professional practice in family services, Strengthening Families and Communities: 2011 Resource Guide provides tools and strategies to enhance families' capacity to care for their children and secure long-term success. The guide underscores the value of five protective factors, which have been shown to protect children from the risk of abuse:

  • Nurturing and attachment
  • Knowledge of parenting and of child and youth development
  • Parental resilience
  • Social connections
  • Concrete supports for parents

The guide highlights tools and strategies for integrating the protective factors into policies and procedures that govern everyday practice in child and family services. This year's guide offers the following resources for service providers:

  • The Center for Disease Control’s four priority strategies for child maltreatment prevention
  • A revision of the "levers of change" in an effort to create more programs that take on a protective factors' approach
  • Tools to help build community awareness and develop partnerships with specific groups
  • A new sample press release and examples of public service announcements
  • Three new tip sheets in English and Spanish that can be shared with parents and caregivers
  • A new activity calendar of 30 Ways to Strengthen Families, in English and Spanish

Strengthening Families and Communities is the result of a major collaborative effort among the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Children's Bureau, the Office on Child Abuse and Neglect, Child Welfare Information Gateway, the FRIENDS National Resource Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention, the Center for the Study of Social Policy, and numerous national organizations. 

To view or order a copy of the resource guide, please visit the Child Welfare Information Gateway website:

In preparation for Child Abuse Prevention Month, Child Welfare Information Gateway updated its Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect web section. This redesigned section offers new and enhanced information on a variety of topics, including a new page on preventing the recurrence of abuse or neglect, a revision of the public awareness and home visiting sections, and a new page on planning and implementation. In addition, the National Child Abuse Prevention Month page features two new widgets promoting National Child Abuse Prevention Month in April and throughout the year.

Visit the Child Welfare Information Gateway webpage to access these tools and materials: