April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. This month and throughout the year, CASA teams across the country encourage all individuals and organizations to play a role in making our counties a better place for children and the people who love and care for them. By ensuring that parents have the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to care for their children, we can help prevent child abuse and neglect by creating strong and thriving children, youth and families in our communities.
Research shows that protective factors are present in healthy families. Protective factors are conditions or attributes of individuals, families, communities, or the larger society that mitigate risk and promote healthy development and well-being. Promoting the following protective factors is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of child abuse and neglect:
Nurturing and attachment
Knowledge of parenting and of child and youth development
Concrete supports for parents
Social and emotional competence of children
CASA of the River Region is heavily invested in promoting this important month. Here are upcoming events you can attend or promote to help us. 1. Sign up for the Hidden Signs of Neglect and Abuse. This 90-minute seminar, to be held March 25, 2020, at our new Shelby County office, will feature a qualified expert who will share how to spot severe mistreatment of children, even when it may not be obvious to untrained eyes. Here's the link to sign up. (Seating is limited for this free event, so sign up today.) 2. Help children take advantage of the next Life Skills Academy. Available for children 13 to 18 years old, this one-day course will show attendees how to manage a bank account, be responsible with credit and checking, apply for a job and dress for an interview. This year's event also features a job fair where local employers on the lookout for responsible teens can be introduced to our kids. Teens can visit this link to sign up. The first 25 registrants who attend and complete the day will receive a $50 Visa Gift Card and all registrants will receive a tablet! 3. Attend our Embrace a Child Breakfast. This FREE annual event brings together change-makers in the community to drive awareness and support for our kids. Join us, Thursday, April 9 (7:30 a.m. Networking/Breakfast; 8-9 a.m. Program) at the Olmsted (3701 Frankfort Avenue). Reserve your free seat HERE. We need TABLE CAPTAINS to drive attendance. If you are interested in hosting a table of friends/colleagues, email firstname.lastname@example.org. 4. Plan now to attend the Early Childhood Trauma Certification Training, which will be offered on April 25, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Here you will learn how early childhood trauma has short and long term effects on brain development and how that can result in social, emotional, cognitive, and physical developmental issues. Basic brain mechanics of overwhelming stress will be explored as well as some simple self regulation techniques. Click on this link to sign up today. Finally, the Children's Bureau, within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has co-developed the 2019/2020 Prevention Resource Guide: Strong and Thriving Families. It’s worth your time to download and peruse this meaty document for morsels that can improve your advocacy.