April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

Healthy Kids connects with community to focus on child and family well-being

Thu, 04/04/2024 - 8:45am

    April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time when Healthy Kids, A Family Resource Network, connects with our local community to focus on child and family well-being. Healthy Kids serves all families in Lincoln and Knox counties, and we know that local residents of each county are the experts on what is needed and are the greatest resource for advancing child and family supports. This April we hope to hear from our community on ideas and existing locations of community-based spaces that support caregivers and youth so we can network together and align efforts.   

    To do this, our Prevention Council will provide a series of opportunities in Lincoln and Knox counties to hear from the communities. By coming together and listening to the community, caregivers, youth, and providers, we are creating the conditions for better outcomes through a coordinated approach. “Community support and partnerships can help lighten the burden on families and strengthen communities and our greatest source of knowledge and information is right where the people are,” said Leslie Livingston, Healthy Kids’ Community and Data Coordinator for this project. 

    “Every caregiver, parent, and child should have access to a place that provides support in their area,” said Prevention Council Director, Char Corbett. “In April, during Child Abuse Prevention Month, we recognize the importance of linking arms in our community to ensure we know where caregivers access existing supports that help lift the load for all families.” 

    “The work of ensuring child and family well-being is a joint effort,” said Heidi Aakjer, Executive Director at Maine Children’s Trust. “And our work is rooted in both aspiration and inspiration by the community members themselves along with evidence-informed practices. Our goal is to provide help and hope before a crisis occurs. We ask that this month, community members will allow us a few minutes of their day to hear their ideas and thoughts because the rewards of thriving children in Maine far outweigh the time, effort, and hurdles that must be overcome to support them.”  

    The pinwheel is the symbol of Child Abuse Prevention month because it is an uplifting symbol of the great childhoods we want for all children. Supportive communities and strong families nurture great childhoods and help prevent child abuse and neglect. 

    This month, and all year long, you can help Healthy Kids to support parents and caregivers and building the relationships and connections in communities so that families can readily access what they need to help every child by taking action in the following ways: 

    • Join us at our upcoming convenings to share locations and experiences about places in Lincoln and Knox counties that support youth and caregivers. Simply visit our website at www.healthykidsmaine.org to find the current dates and locations. 
    • You can show support for promoting positive childhood experiences and preventing adversity by 

    wearing blue on April 5th for #WearBlueDay to kick off CAP Month with momentum. Post a photo and include the #WearBlueDay2024 hashtag. 

    • Follow Healthy Kids on social media and share our posts throughout April. Encourage friends and family to do the same. Use the hashtags #ChildAbusePreventionMonth and #CAPMonth to signify your commitment to helping children, families, and entire communities to thrive.