Every month should be a time to fight child abuse.  

However, the State of North Carolina has declared April in particular as Child Abuse Prevention Month in North Carolina, and state officials are using the month to highlight the ways citizens can fight child abuse.

On the eve of April, state health officials and the organization Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina announced that they’re recognizing the role all North Carolinians play in “building caring connections, supportive environments and positive experiences for all children and families.”

To help promote the kick-off of the prevention effort, state officials are asking North Carolinians to wear blue on Thursday, April 1.  April Fool’s Day this year has been declared “Wear Blue Day.” Those who do can share their photos on social media using the hashtags #WearBlueDay and #BeAConnection.

This year, especially, when children and everyone else are under a great deal of stress due to the COVID-19 pandemic, state officials want to publicize strategies, programs and available resources that strengthen families and promote a feeling of well-being in kids.

This month and for the remainder of the year, the state’s social services division, along with Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina, will work with every county Department of Social Services in the state to make sure that those looking after kids have the knowledge, skills and resources they need to care for children.

The backers of the initiative say that scientific research has shown that establishing connections in communities, along with funding proven programs, helps families promote the prevention of child abuse and neglect.

Sharon Hirsch, the president and CEO of Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina, stated in a press release calling attention to the month that support programs are important.

“Science tells us that connections matter,” she stated. “Our work to build positive connections, stable foundations, supportive communities and strong families where all children can thrive has never been more important than it is now as North Carolina families grapple with additional stressors from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

  State social services officials also stress that everyone who suspects that child abuse or neglect is taking place should contact Child Protection Services through their local county Department of Social Services.

For more information on Child Abuse Prevention Month, you can visit preventchildabusenc.org.