April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and throughout the year, Arapahoe County encourages all individuals to play a role in making the County a safer 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 making meaningful connections with children, youth and families in our communities.
The most important thing to help children thrive is to support families before a crisis arises. Arapahoe County supports our most vulnerable population through the work in the Human Services department, which encourages everyone in our community to make the commitment to explore new ideas that will strengthen children and families.
“Prevention of child abuse and neglect is possible, and we may do better as a community if we have the tools to effectively prevent some of the factors that can lead to abuse,” said Arapahoe County Commissioner Nancy Sharpe. “All families need support, and with the hardships from the pandemic, including job loss, home schooling, fear of getting ill and caring for loved ones, there has been a lot to stress about.”
The first step in helping to end child abuse and neglect is learning to recognize the signs. The presence of a single sign does not necessarily mean that child maltreatment is occurring but taking a closer look at the situation may be warranted when these signs appear repeatedly or in combination with others. Trust your gut instinct and call if you are concerned for the safety and well-being of a child.
Anyone may call the Colorado Hotline at 1-844-CO-4-KIDS. The Arapahoe County Crisis Hotline is 303-636-1750.
Here are a few factors everyone should know:
Addressing factors that can lead to child abuse and neglect is also important for prevention. Often, poverty and the absence of adequate basic needs such as housing, medical coverage, and food can put a family in a state of emotional and physical trauma and jeopardize a parent’s ability to stay calm in high-stress situations. By offering front end, preventative services targeted to parents and children, families may avoid becoming involved with child protection later on.
Following are some resources and guidelines for strengthening families across Arapahoe County:
Learn about Arapahoe County’s Public Assistance programs – Food, Financial and Medical Benefits Information and resources from the Colorado Department of Human Services that can help you support those close to you.
Growing and Maintaining Strong Families Most parents need people they can call on once in a while when they need a sympathetic listener, advice, or concrete support. Research has shown that parents who are isolated, with few social connections, are at higher risk for child abuse and/or neglect. Here are five proven ways for parents to help kids grow and maintain strong families.
50+ ways you can play a role in strengthening families. One of the most effective ways to prevent child abuse is to strengthen families. Here are 50+ ways for neighbors, community organizations, employers, people in the service industry and spiritual community to strengthen families.
Child Welfare 2021/2022 Prevention Resource Guide Protective factors and innovative ways that communities around the country are practicing purposeful prevention work to help children and families thrive.