News Flash

Arapahoe County News

Posted on: April 4, 2023

Recognizing April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month

Graphic that reads: We can work to end child abuse and neglect

Each April during National Child Abuse Prevention Month, we recognize the importance of communities working together to prevent child maltreatment by helping families thrive. 

At Arapahoe County we want to make sure parents and caregivers have the knowledge, skills, and resources to care for their children. Because when they do, it can help prevent child abuse and neglect in the first place. 

“I’m proud that Arapahoe County honors the importance of working with families and our community to keep children safe, not just during Child Abuse Prevention Month, but every day,” said County Commissioner Carrie Warren-Gully. “We recognize that abuse and neglect have severe and long-lasting physical and psychological effects on children. But it does not stop there. Abuse and neglect contribute to a broader culture of violence. By preventing child abuse, we can create a safer society for everyone.” 

What Arapahoe County Does

  • Builds partnerships—The County builds successful prevention efforts by creating and expanding partnerships between child protection professionals, education, health, community- and faith-based organizations, businesses, law enforcement agencies and families.
  • Connects to assistance—We can help point families to food, financial, and medical assistance and offer free classes and workshops to give families the resources they need.
  • Is a compassionate resource—County social workers are dedicated in their resilient efforts to protect children and help families succeed. This month, they welcome you to join them in honoring child abuse prevention month by visiting gardens of pinwheels at County buildings in Littleton and Aurora.
  • Operates a 24/7 hotline—The County takes calls 24/7 at 303-636-1750 from community members concerned that a child is being abused or neglected. Trained professionals take calls and then generate referrals for review by a team to determine if there is abuse or neglect. If it’s appropriate, an intake caseworker will meet with the child(ren) and their families to assess concerns.

“Arapahoe County intentionally serves the whole family by providing supports that create stability and overall well-being to break the cycle of abuse,” said Department of Human Services director Cheryl Ternes. “Child Abuse Prevention Month reminds us that it takes the entire community to protect its children. Every action counts. We can all be part of the solution by being informed, involved, and taking action.”

What You Can Do

  • Know the risk factors— Mental health issues, misuse of substances, adverse responses to stress, and trauma history all can contribute to child abuse/neglect. Other factors include lower socioeconomic status and lack of social support and connection. 
  • Know the signs—Looks for signs that a child may be abused or neglected, or that a parent is being abusive or neglecting a child.
  • Build connections and offer support—Offer concrete support to others in times of need or use any of these 50+ ways to be a support system to strengthen families.
  • Find ways to get involved—Understand child maltreatment data and understand how to start protective conversations with additional child abuse prevention month resources.
  • Call for assistance—If you suspect abuse or neglect, anyone may call the Colorado Hotline at 1-844-CO-4-KIDS. To reach the Arapahoe County Crisis Hotline call 303-636-1750:
    • Even if you only suspect abuse, that’ll all that’s necessary for a call. 
    • Reports are confidential.
    • You will be asked to describe your concerns about the child. It’s helpful if you can provide the child's name, age, address, gender, school (if possible), and names of parents.

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