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April 2012Vol. 13, No. 3April Is National Child Abuse Prevention Month

Nearly 30 years ago, Congress and the President first designated April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month. This month is an opportunity to raise awareness about child abuse and neglect and promote activities across the nation aimed at protecting children and supporting families. This year's Prevention Month activities reflect the Office on Child Abuse and Neglect's (OCAN's) June 2011 conference theme, Preventing Child Maltreatment and Promoting Well-Being: Network for Action.

The annual observation of Prevention Month includes the release of an updated resource guide, with the latest research, practices, and information centered on prevention. This year's guide, Preventing Child Maltreatment and Promoting Well-Being: A Network for Action: 2012 Resource Guide, includes information on an additional protective factor that can help families safeguard children from the risk of abuse. The six protective factors include:

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

In addition to tools and strategies for integrating the protective factors into everyday child and family services, the guide also includes 11 tip sheets for parents—two more than last year. The tip sheets, available in both English and Spanish, cover topics that range from "10 Ways to Be a Better Dad" and "Connecting With Your Teen" to "Dealing With Temper Tantrums" and "Bonding With Your Baby."

The 2012 Resource Guide has been refreshed with new information, while maintaining some of its main content structure. It has a different theme and design and updated statistics.

  • Chapter One, "Laying the Groundwork," contains information on the Protective Factor Framework.
  • The "Levers for Change" section was updated to include new examples from Network for Action’s Strategic Projects.
  • The list of protective factors was expanded to include a sixth factor: Social and Emotional Competence of Children.
  • Chapter Four, "Engaging Your Community," contains new information on engaging traditional and social media to build your network.
  • The guide features new tips on collaborating with the military and medical communities.
  • A new activity calendar gives suggestions for different ways to use the six protective factors. The calendar, "30 Ways to Promote Child Well Being During National Child Abuse Prevention Month," provides activities to support children and families throughout an entire month.

The resource guide is the result of collaboration among the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Children's Bureau, OCAN, 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: 

Child Welfare Information Gateway updated its Preventing Child Abuse & Neglect web section to reflect the new material in the guide and more. This redesigned section offers:

  • The Protective Factors Framework
  • Supporting the Early Childhood Workforce
  • Cultural Competence in Prevention Services: Rural Communities

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

Related Item

In March, CBX featured an article on OCAN's 18th National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect: Celebrating the Past and Imagining the Future.