All can play a part as April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month

Tuesday, April 3, 2018
Recognizing the effects that child abuse has on children, families and entire communities, the Putnam County Commissioners and Greencastle Mayor Bill Dory come together to proclaim April as Child Abuse Prevention Month in Putnam County. The elected officials are joined in this effort by members of the Putnam County Child Abuse Prevention Coalition. Those present include (seated from left) commissioners David Berry, Rick Woodall and Don Walton, (back) Scott Monnett, Sarah Cofer, Jena Welker, Elizabeth Butts, Gretchen Wallace, Mayor Dory, Jenifer Stoehr, Kristin Tippin and Sherri Nield.
Banner Graphic/Jared Jernagan

Since 2011, the number of child abuse victims in Indiana has increased 47.2 percent. In 2015, there were 34 child deaths resulting from abuse or neglect reported statewide.

That’s why the Putnam County Child Abuse Prevention Task Force and Healthy Families Program is urging the community to play its part in April to help bring awareness to this issue.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. This month and throughout the year, the Putnam County Child Abuse Prevention Task Force encourages all individuals and organizations to play a role in making Putnam County a better place for children and families. By ensuring that parents have the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to care for their children, we can help prevent child abuse and neglect by making meaningful connections with children, youth and families in our communities.

Research shows that protective factors are present in healthy families. Promoting these factors is among the most effective ways to reduce the risk of child abuse and neglect. They are: 1) Nurturing and attachment, 2) Knowledge of parenting and of child and youth development, 3) Parental resilience, 4) Social connections, 5) Concrete supports for parents, 6) Social and emotional competence of children.

“April is a time to celebrate the important role that communities play in protecting children and strengthening families,” said Gretchen Wallace, Healthy Families program director. “Everyone’s participation is critical. Focusing on ways to connect with families is the best thing our community can do to strengthen families and prevent child abuse and neglect.”

The task force has planned a month of activities, here are a few, but be on the watch for more.

April 2 -- Proclamation from county and city officials, proclaiming April as Child Abuse Prevention Month in Putnam County and City of Greencastle.

Placement of Pinwheels for Prevention on courthouse lawn and other locations around the community.

April 6 -- Wear Blue Day: Tell people you are participating in a national day to highlight child abuse prevention. Take a picture of yourself and your colleagues all dressed in blue and share it on your favorite social media platform using the #WearBlue, tag @fsswci on Facebook.

All Month -- Child Abuse Prevention Month Posters: Contact Family Support Services and they will provide any business and individual that would like to display the prevent child abuse poster in your home or place of business.

In addition, the Child Abuse Prevention Task Force would like to challenge all businesses in Putnam County to decorate their windows, doors or business using the blue ribbon, to show support. It is the goal of the Task Force to turn the community blue in April.

For more information, to request a poster or provide additional support contact Family Support Services of West Central Indiana at 653-4820, email or visit the office at 22 W. Washington St.

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