April is National Child Abuse & Neglect Awareness Month. This month and throughout the year, Beaufort County First Steps encourages all individuals and organizations to play a role in making Beaufort 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 creating strong and thriving children, youth, and families in our communities. Research shows that protective factors are present in healthy families. Protective factors are conditions or attributes of individuals, families, communities, or the larger society that mitigate risk and promote healthy development and wellbeing. Promoting the following protective factors is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of child abuse and neglect:
- 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
April is a time to celebrate the important role that communities play in protecting children and strengthening families. 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.