Blue pinwheels spinning around Polk County are highlighting that April is Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month.
At their regular meeting Monday, the Polk County Board of Commissioners enacted a proclamation declaring that April be recognized as Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month. In their proclamation, they said that “every child deserves to be loved, cared for, secure, and safe and it is the responsibility of our communities to promote every child’s right to a safe, happy and healthy environment.” The proclamation also noted that in 2020, 354 reports of child abuse and neglect were made to Polk County Child Protective Services.
Shining in the sun, the symbolic blue pinwheels are reflective of the bright future all children deserve. All adults play a role in the healthy development and growth of children here in Polk County and throughout the United States.
Research shows that adverse childhood experiences like child abuse and neglect result in toxic stress that damages children’s developing brain architecture. Supportive, nurturing relationships with caregivers, however, build strong brain architecture and are essential for healthy growth and development.
Free training webinars April 8 and 20
In partnership with the Children’s Home Society of North Carolina, the Polk County Division of Social Services and the Polk County Community Child Protective Team also are hosting two free training webinars related to child abuse and neglect. Anyone may sign up and people are welcome to sign up for one or both of the webinars.
A “Stress, Trauma, Resilience & the Brain” webinar is being held at 7 p.m., Thursday, April 8. This webinar seeks to provide a simplistic understanding of the brain and body’s response to stress, offer framing for understanding how behavior is influenced by our perception of safety and the three mechanisms for settling the nervous system – connection, meeting needs and receiving messages of safety through sensation. Learn more and sign up for this webinar at https://www.chsnc.org/event/stress-trauma-resilience-the-brain-webinar/.
A “Building Protective Factors” webinar is being held at 7 p.m., Tuesday, April 20. Based on the fact that children are more likely to thrive when their families have the support they need, this webinar covers the five universal family strengths that when present, provide safety and security for children. This webinar seeks to provide understanding on key strength areas, including parental resilience, social connections, knowledge of parenting and child development, concrete support in times of need and social/emotional competence of children. Learn more and sign up for this webinar at https://www.chsnc.org/event/building-protective-factors-webinar/.
For more information about these webinars, contact Professional Trainer and Family Educator Allison Sturtevant-Gilliam, BSW at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Polk County Division of Social Services’ mission is to assist families and individuals by helping them maintain and/or enhance their quality of life and to prevent abuse, neglect and exploitation of vulnerable people in the community as we administer services and public assistance programs in a timely, effective and professional manner. Learn more by visiting http://www.polknc.org/social_services1.php#.YGTGmS2ZOAL or by calling (828) 894-2100.
The Polk County Division of Social Services also shares these additional resources:
- “How childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime” featuring Dr. Nadine Burke Harris: https://youtu.be/95ovIJ3dsNk
- Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina-Protective Factors: https://www.preventchildabusenc.org/resource-hub/protective-factors/
- “Stress: 10 Ways to Ease Stress” from The Cleveland Clinic: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/8133-stress-10-ways-to-ease-stress
- “Preventing Child Abuse: Six Strategies for Families” from the American Bar Association: https://www.americanbar.org/groups/public_interest/child_law/resources/child_law_practiceonline/child_law_practice/vol-34/may-2015/preventing-child-abuse–six-strategies-for-families/
- Prevent Child Abuse America: https://preventchildabuse.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/PCA-Primary-Prevention-Stream-Graphic-2.pdf
- Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina: https://www.preventchildabusenc.org/
- Ten Ways to Help Prevent Child Abuse from Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina: https://preventchildabuse.org/resources/ten-ways-to-help-prevent-child-abuse/
- Prevention Strategies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/childabuseandneglect/prevention.html
- Children’s Trust Fund Alliance: https://ctfalliance.org/preventing-child-neglect/
- “What You Can Do to Prevent Child Abuse” from Stanford Children’s Health: https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=what-you-can-do-to-prevent-child-abuse-1-1565
- Child Abuse Prevention Guidelines from Childhelp: https://www.childhelp.org/story-resource-center/child-abuse-prevention/
- “Preventing child abuse and neglect” from the Archives of Nursing Practice and Care: https://www.peertechzpublications.com/articles/doi10.17352-2581-4265.000028-anpc.php