April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month
For most of us, Easter is a time of reflection, rebirth, and celebration with our children and loved ones. This year, Easter also begins National Child Abuse Prevention Month – a well-suited season to discuss how our communities can encourage the healthy development of children in loving and supportive environments. Each April, organizations, agencies, and individuals throughout the US raise awareness of resources whose purpose is to reduce instances of child abuse and neglect. Blue pinwheels are planted across the nation this month – each representing the hope and opportunity to thrive that every child deserves.
How Do We Define Abuse or Neglect?
The Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Department for Community Based Services, Division of Protection and Permanency receives and investigates reports of alleged child abuse and neglect. Linkage to outside resources ensures a unified interagency collaboration of essential stakeholders, including behavioral health agencies, educators, law enforcement agencies, juvenile justice programs, and many others. CHFS points to KRS 600.020, a Kentucky law that defines child abuse, neglect, and dependency. Abused or neglected children include those whose health or welfare is harmed or at risk of harm when his or her guardian inflicts or creates risk for physical or emotional injury, displays patterns of substance abuse, abandons or exploits the child, or does not provide the child with adequate care. To learn more about indicators of neglect and abuse, please visit:
The Child Welfare Information Gateway – www.childwelfare.gov
Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky – www.pcaky.org
Kentucky CFHS DCBS Division of Protection and Permanency – www.chfs.ky.gov/dcbs/dpp
What if I Suspect a Child is Being Abused or Neglected?
In Kentucky, it is the legal duty of everyone to report suspicions if they have reasonable cause to believe that a child is dependent, abused, or neglected (KRS 620.030). To report, one may call the Child Protection Hot Line, your county Department for Community Based Services, or – if the child is in imminent danger or is in need of immediate protection – call 911 or the local police department.
Child Protection Hot Line:
1-877-KYSAFE1 April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month