Child Abuse Prevention Month

Published 1:00 pm Friday, April 22, 2022

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April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and this year the theme is, “Growing a Better Tomorrow for All Children, Together.” It is a time for us to reflect on the community partners working together to strengthen families to prevent and bring awareness to child abuse and neglect.

The theme evokes the image of a garden, where we all have a role in cultivating and preparing children to become healthy and thriving members of our communities. Every time we invest in a young person’s physical, emotional and social development, we sow seeds of support for Virginia families. Over time, these seeds take root and create the conditions for safe, stable, and nurturing spaces for children to grow.

Children and families are our greatest resource, and with the presence of resilient, bonded families, Virginia’s garden is a vibrant place, bursting with color.

Research shows that children and families thrive when communities focus on addressing root causes that lead to health and social inequities – things like stable housing, access to healthy foods, and stable employment. When these root causes go unaddressed, the stresses of life erode parents’ capacity to care well for their children and their communities. We must continue to work to advance policies and services that put families first, and strengthen all of us during times of uncertainty or increased stress.

We must continue to work together to address disparities while connecting poverty-related needs to appropriate preventive community resources. In doing so, we work to ensure that children have positive experiences and families have access to the resources they need, when they need them.