Child Abuse Awareness Month

ChildAbusePrevention

April Is National Child Abuse Prevention Month!

The United States Deparmtent of Health & Human Services (DHHS) is emphasizing the need to not only prevent children from being hurt, but to strength families in chosing as the official theme for 2021 Child Abuse Awareness Month: "Thrivinng Children and Families—Prevention With Purpose."

In his Child Abuse Prevention Month Proclamation, President Joe Biden noted the tremendous stress families have been under during the COVID-19 pandemic—stress that has put child across the nation at great risk of abuse:

As we begin to emerge from a year of unprecedented stress and hardship, children and families need our support more than ever.  The confluence of a devastating pandemic and the worst economic crisis in nearly a century have increased the risk for child abuse and neglect as Americans grapple with the compounding challenges of school and child care facility closures, social isolation, and increased financial instability.  Children and families of color — who so often across our history have been underserved, marginalized, and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality—face even greater adversity today as they disproportionately carry the burdens of the COVID-19 crisis.  During National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and throughout the entire year, it is imperative that we join together as one Nation to combat child abuse in all of its forms—through neglect, mistreatment, or physical, emotional, or sexual abuse.

'A Public Health Crisis Before COVID-19'

Last summer agencies that receive COMBAT funding for child abuse prevention programs reported seeing—in Child Protection Center (CPC) President & CEO Lisa Mizell's words—"more egregious" abuse as the pandemic continue to unfold. "And [child abuse] was a public health crisis before the COVID-19 pandemic," Mizell stated.

According to the DHHS Child Maltreatment 2019* report, Missouri has the fourth highest "Child Protective Services Caseload" in the nation based on the ratio of abuse report investigations to the number of response workers:

STATEINVESTIGATION PER RESPONSE WORKER
Utah165
Indiana144
Iowa132
Missouri122
Massachusetts120
New Mexico117
New Hampshire107
Oregon102
Arizona101
Louisiana100

* 2019 is the last year for which all data has been compiled and analyzed.

COMBAT-Funded Programs

In 2021 COMBAT is funding these programs that address child abuse, sexual assault and domestic violence:

  1.  CHILD ABUSE PROGRAMS

    These are the agencies that have a COMBAT-funded program with a child abuse emphasis or component.

    Child Protection Center, Inc.
    » Child Protection Center Program

    Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault (MOCSA)
    » Comprehensive Sexual Violence Prevention In Jackson County

    Sheffield Place
    » Sheffield Bullying/Violence Prevention

  2.  DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

    These are the agencies that have a COMBAT-funded program with a domestic violence emphasis or component.

    Blue Springs Police Department
    » Community Outreach Prevention Strategies (COPS)

    Centers for Conflict Resolution
    » Reducing Compound Trauma In Hot Spots

    Child Protection Center, Inc.
    » Child Protection Center

    Community Services League
    » Independence STRIVIN' Initiative

    Hope House, Inc.
    » Hope House's Targeted Domestic Violence Program

    Reconciliation Services
    » REVEAL Social & Mental Health Services

    Rose Brooks Center
    » Project SAFE

    Sheffield Place
    » Bullying/Violence Prevention

    Synery Services, Inc.
    » Jackson County BIP & Peaceful Pah Diversion Program

  3.  SEXUAL ASSAULT PROGRAMS

    These are the agencies that have a COMBAT-funded program with a sexual assault prevention/counseling emphasis or component.

    Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault (MOCSA)
    » Comprehensive Sexual Violence Prevention In Jackson County

RESOURCES

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) has multiple Child Abuse Prevention resources.

  • The 2021/2022 Prevention Guide focuses on protective factors to strengthen families and help foster healthy child development.
  • DHHS also releases an annual report with detailed data about child abuse and local services that address it.
  • The DHHS Child Welfare Information Gateway has a number of fact sheets and other publications related to child abuse.