April is Child Abuse Prevention Month
One of the scariest parts of the pandemic happened very early for those of us who work in child welfare. Children were sent home from school, teams, and activities and told to stay home for their health and safety. But what if home isn’t a safe place?
Often teachers, counselors and coaches are the first people to notice something is wrong and alert us that a child needs help. Last year just as we were approaching Child Abuse Prevention Month, due to the pandemic, we lost some of our most important eyes and ears who help us keep kids safe. So, we turned to the community, neighbors, friends and relatives and asked you to keep an eye out for our children. We even added options for people to report potential cases of abuse and neglect on our website and Facebook page in addition to our 696-KIDS hotline.
This spring many kids are headed back to the classroom. But that doesn’t mean we don’t still need your help. As children and teens emerge from months of isolation at home away from friends and teachers, look for signs they might need help. Parents who have been struggling with job loss, illness or other stressors also need our help.
Preventing abuse and neglect doesn’t just mean stopping predatory strangers, or unfit parents. It also means offering support and relief to overwhelmed parents and caregivers who don’t have the resources to provide for children’s needs.
Abuse is preventable. Reporting children who may be at risk doesn’t mean you’re getting someone in trouble. You could be offering them a source of support and resources they desperately need.
So if you suspect something isn’t quite right, or you’re just concerned a family needs help, pick up the phone and call 216-696-KIDS or send us an email at [email protected] or visit our website and submit a report. You can be a hero for a child by speaking up.