Go All in to Help a Child!
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and Month of the Military Child. During this month, we encourage everyone to make the commitment and go all in to keep our MilKids safe 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Since 1983, when Congress proclaimed April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month, we have taken this time each year to reflect on the well-being of children. We know that prevention is a constant effort and is one that we all must actively pledge to participate in every day. Our commitment to a safe and healthy community must endure long after the month of observation has come and gone. The coronavirus pandemic has shown us that this is more important than ever as the disruptions to our workplace and homes have increased stress and put added pressure on families and relationships.
Know the signs and risk factors of child abuse and what you can do to support a kid who may need your help.
The Department of Defense defines child abuse and neglect as, “any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical injury or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation; or, an act or failure to act which presents imminent risk of serious harm.”
Experts have identified that some of the common risk factors for abuse are times of uncertainty, high stress, the lack of knowledge of child development, and a history of abuse.
Parents may need additional support during this global pandemic as our modified habits of social distancing and virtual schooling may lead to feelings of isolation, increased anxiety and uncertainty.
Our military community must go all in to support parents to talk to someone and to practice self-care. If you have concerns about a child’s safety, make sure you know what to do and how to report suspicions of child abuse or neglect in your community.
If you believe or suspect that, a child is being abused or neglected, call your local Child Protective Services or law enforcement. The Family Advocacy Program (FAP) staff at your local Fleet and Family Support Center (FFSC) can assist you as well.
To find the installation closest to you, go to www.militaryinstallations.dod.mil.
Our MilKids are our priority and every caring adult in our community can play an ongoing role in prevention by supporting military children, including those impacted by trauma, abuse or neglect.