Guilford County Recognizes Child Abuse Prevention Month

From July 2014 to June 2015, ten children died in Guilford County from child abuse or neglect. Five deaths were attributed to unsafe sleep environments, two children less than age two drowned and in the last six months three children died due to blunt force trauma.  April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and it is time to join Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina to encourage people to take simple actions every day that make a difference in the lives of children. These impactful, yet ordinary actions can be anything from organizing neighborhood activities to offering to babysit for a neighbor. When children have positive relationships and experiences with their parents and other adults in their community it builds healthy brain architecture, forming a sturdy foundation for future success.

Guilford County has experienced extreme cases of child abuse and neglect that resulted in death; yet every day countless children suffer from some form of maltreatment or violence. During the 2015 fiscal year, the Department of Health and Human Services received 5,667 Child Protective Services reports involving the alleged maltreatment of more than 10,500 children. Of these calls, approximately 30% either needed ongoing services or services were recommended. There are currently 422 children in foster care in Guilford County. The majority of the reports relate to substance abuse, mental health and domestic violence issues. In order to improve the health and quality of life for children we need to provide parents with the skills, education and support they need.

“You might not even realize that what you’re doing is enhancing the lives of the children and families you know,” said Sharon Hirsch, president and CEO of Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina. “Every time you lend an extra hand to an overwhelmed parent, volunteer at a local child-serving agency, or even take a stand for a program or policy that you feel should be part of your community, you’re building great childhoods which are essential to healthy child development.”

 

Communities play an important role in protecting children.  To highlight the importance of preventing child abuse and to raise awareness, Family Service of the Piedmont, Guilford County Department Health and Human Services, Guilford County Guardian ad Litem, City of Greensboro, Guilford County Partnership for Children, NC Network for Safe Communities at UNCG, and the Guilford County Child Fatality Prevention and Community Child Protection Team will coordinate an event to raise awareness to prevent child abuse and neglect in Guilford County.

Challenge:       PLEDGE TO WEAR BLUE on April 13th to show your commitment to keep kids safe! On April 13th, WEAR BLUE anywhere – to work, to school, a community event, the gym, and even at home.  Invite your friends, family, students, co-workers or even your entire office to WEAR BLUE too! It doesn’t matter if it is a blue shirt or blue suede shoes, the unified, community-wide act of wearing blue will help raise awareness that child abuse is preventable!

Event:             Wednesday, April 13th at 1-1:45 at Guilford County Courthouse (201 South Eugene Street, Greensboro, NC). Local community leaders will present information on the impact of child abuse and neglect in our community.

“We invite everyone in our community to celebrate Child Abuse Prevention Month and play an active role in the lives of children and families they know,” said Merle Green, Health Director. “Our children are essential to our future, and if we all make a point to take these ordinary actions, we can go a long way towards creating the kind of world where all children are celebrated and where abuse and neglect never occurs.” Pinwheels will be displayed throughout the month of April at various locations, reminding us that we all have a role in helping children in our community thrive.

About Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina

Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina (PCANC) is the only statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing child abuse and neglect. Through collaboration with partners across North Carolina, PCANC works with communities to build safe, stable, nurturing relationships for all children. PCANC is the North Carolina chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America and a proud recipient of Charity Navigator’s prestigious 4-star rating. For more information contact Kristie Demers, Communications Coordinator, at (919) 829-8009, ext. 619 or kdemers@preventchildabusenc.org.

Media Contact:    Jill Bailey

Family Service of the Piedmont

(336) 387-6105 Ext. 1125

Jill.bailey@fspcares.org

Or

Sandy Ellington

Guilford County DHHS/Public Health

(336) 641-6667

selling@myguilford.com