ROCKINGHAM — April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time when child wellness and child welfare organizations across North Carolina, and the nation, elevate the importance of creating systems and programs that put children and families first.
Richmond County Partnership for Children and Richmond County Department of Social Services, along with Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina recognize that all community members have a role in ensuring children have positive experiences and families have the resources they need when they need them, well before they are in crisis. We all have a stake in prioritizing equal opportunities for every child from all communities in each corner of the state to build a more prosperous future for us all and nurture positive childhoods.
“It’s never been truer that communities today need to band together in collective ways to help our families and children thrive. Too often, our society thinks of raising healthy children as a parent or caregiver’s responsibility alone,” said Dr. Katrina Chance, RCPC’s executive director.
“In reality, we all benefit when groups of people work together to collectively care for children, and this April for Child Abuse Prevention Month, our organizations are dedicated to working together to lessen the load of stress that families face,” said Theressa Smith, deputy director of Social Services.
Extreme stress and uncertainty for families may increase the risk of child abuse and neglect raising the need to support families and prevent abuse before it occurs. Child abuse and neglect are preventable, and all communities benefit when children and families are well supported.
Throughout CAP Month, RCPC and PCANC are raising awareness through the concepts of “Nurturing Positive Childhoods” and “Prevention in Partnership” to reinforce the concept that prevention cannot and does not happen alone.
“During this year’s Child Abuse Prevention Month, we hope all North Carolinians find a way to be a connection and help nurture positive childhoods so more children can thrive,” said Sharon Hirsch, president and CEO of PCANC. “There are a number of ways you can get involved in this campaign and help prevent child maltreatment from ever occurring.”
Prevent Child Abuse NC recommends local community members help raise awareness and impact through the following simple action items this April and beyond:
- Wear blue on Friday, March 31, Wear Blue Day, to show support for children and families as we build momentum leading into Child Abuse Prevention Month. Post a photo or video on social media and include the #WearBlueDay2023 + #NC + #richmondsmartstart hashtags.
- Join Richmond County’s event on 4/4@4! An awareness walk will begin at DSS (125 Caroline St., Rockingham) at 4 p.m. The walk will end at the former Richmond County Courthouse where everyone can plant a pinwheel. A short program will follow.
- Participate in National Digital Advocacy Day on Wednesday, April 19. Advocate for economic support that strengthens families and contact your representatives to advocate for the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act to provide states and communities the resources to implement community-based solutions for the prevention of child abuse and neglect.
- Host a Connections Matter NC presentation in your workplace, group, or faith community. For more information, contact RCPC at 910-997-3773.
- Follow RCPC, DSS, and PCANC on social media and share our posts throughout April. Use the hashtags #NurturingPositiveChildhoods, #BuildingTogether, #PreventionInPartnership, and #CAPMonth to signify your commitment to helping children, families, and entire communities to thrive.
- Sign up for PCANC’s newsletter to stay in the know on how you can help children thrive.
- Make a tax-deductible donation to PCANC or RCPC. Contact DSS to see how you can help.
For more ways to get involved in CAP Month please visit https://www.preventchildabusenc.org/recognize-child-abuse-prevention-month/. Because together, we can prevent child abuse, in North Carolina.