April has been deemed Child Abuse Prevention Month and state health and human services officials – along with elected leaders – would like to see a lot of people across North Carolina do what they can to advance the cause and call attention to it.

State officials are asking that, this year for the month of April, community organizations, government agencies, businesses, faith groups and other involved parties come together “to focus on creating partnerships to prevent child maltreatment from occurring and the importance of building hope for children and families.”

The official theme of the 2024 Child Abuse Prevention Month campaign is “Building A Hopeful Future Together.”

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS)  – along with  the Positive Childhood Alliance North Carolina (formerly known as Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina) argue that all North Carolinians are responsible for defending and nurturing children across the state.

“We want North Carolina families to have access to supports they need, when they need them, so children can grow up in nurturing environments with hope for the future,” said NCDHHS Deputy Secretary for Opportunity and Well-Being Susan Osborne. “Policies and programs that put families first are critical to ensuring parents and caregivers have the resources they need to keep children safe within their own communities.”

Guilford County has been doing its part: In Guilford County, over the last decade, there’s been a tremendous push against child abuse – as well as elder abuse and other types of familial abuse. The county has poured a lot of effort and money into its two Family Justice Centers, which have operated as models for many other places across the state and the country.

According to information from the NCDHHS: “Children who live in families with access to economic and social support are less likely to experience abuse and neglect. Too often, people think of raising healthy children as a parent or caregiver’s responsibility alone, but it takes community resources and partnerships to help lighten the burden of care and strengthen families. All North Carolinians share the responsibility of creating more positive outcomes for children by working together to address the underlying causes of health and social inequities in our communities.”

Here, according to state officials. are some of the ways people can help increase awareness…

  • Attend a Pinwheel Planting hosted by NCDHHS and other organizations on Tuesday, April 2 at 11:30 a.m., at the NC State Farmer’s Market at 1201 Agriculture St. in Raleigh. The public and media are invited to attend. Speakers will include Lisa Tucker Cauley, Division Director, Human Services Child, Family, and Adult, Regional Support; Sharon Hirsch, President and CEO of Positive Childhood Alliance North Carolina; and Heather McAllister, Family First Prevention Services Manager in the Division of Social Services.

At the event, food and drink will be provided on a first come first serve basis.

  • Wear blue on Friday, April 5 – which is “Wear Blue Day” – to show support for children and families. Post a photo or video on social media and include the #WearBlueDay2024 and #NC hashtags.
  • Take part in digital advocacy day on Tuesday, April 16, to push for increased federal investment in “community-based child abuse prevention grants” that offer states and communities resources that can be used to implement solutions to child abuse and neglect.
  • Follow the Positive Childhood Alliance North Carolina on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Threads and X (formerly known as Twitter) and share posts throughout April. Also, encourage your friends and family to do the same.
  • Plant a pinwheel as a visual reminder of the world we want – for all children to grow up happy, healthy and prepared to succeed.

For more ways to get involved in Child Abuse Prevention Month, you can visit PositiveChildhoodAllianceNC.org.