Preserving Childhood Innocence Through Awareness & Action
For many adults, childhood memories evoke a sense of nostalgia and a longing to revisit those carefree days. Summers of endless trips to the beach – and endless sunburns. Afternoons sprinting after ice cream trucks. Weekends playing street football with neighborhood kids. They were happy-go-lucky days filled with adventure and limited worry.
Unfortunately, abuse and neglect obstructs some children from experiencing the playfulness of childhood. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated one in four children experience abuse or neglect in the United States. That’s one child too many.
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and a time to highlight the importance of communities working together to strengthen and support families in an effort to prevent child maltreatment. Studies show when families struggle or face stressful times, the risk of their children experiencing child abuse or neglect increases. Supporting families when they need it the most is the most powerful way to protect children – all year long.
The following guide, created by the WE CAN Coalition, a county-wide collaboration addressing the needs of families touched by abuse, is designed to assist anyone in the community to identify abuse and neglect warning signs and outlines factors characteristic of healthy family dynamics. If child abuse is suspected, call the Child Abuse Hotline at (714) 940-1000 or (800) 207-4464.