Statewide agencies encourage community to build positive relationships that develop healthy brains and strong communities
Recent research shows that experiencing trauma, like child abuse or neglect, can drastically change the brain and increase the risk of health and social problems throughout a lifetime. Science also explains that caring relationships can prevent and mitigate the effects of trauma at any age. That is why Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina (PCANC) and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) are sharing the message that “connections matter” with North Carolina residents this April.
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and everyone can make a connection that matters to the children and families in their community.
“People today experience many forms of overwhelming stress. Individuals and families are more isolated than in previous times. People continue to find unhealthy ways to cope with stress when they don’t have support,” said Sharon Hirsch, PCANC President and CEO. “When these stressors continue long-term, the risk of health and social problems increases. The good news is that research shows that connecting with children, families, and adults in our lives develops healthier brains, more supportive relationships, and stronger communities.”
Studies show that as communities work together to build relationships, resilience increases while rates of childhood trauma and health problems decrease. In North Carolina, PCANC is working to inform community members of the importance of building connections during Child Abuse Prevention Month through a statewide awareness campaign, an ongoing public awareness campaign and training - Connections Matter NC, advocacy with partners and community members, focusing on critical policy work, and capacity building with family-strengthening programs.
PCANC’s efforts to prevent child abuse and neglect are made possible through our partnership with the NC DHHS. In addition to providing oversight for the state’s county-administered child welfare system, DHHS invests in evidence-based programs that strengthen families, public awareness activities, and community engagement strategies that promote safe, stable and nurturing environments for children.
PCANC and DHHS are encouraging North Carolina residents to help create connections that matter this Child Abuse Prevention Month by sharing their talents and doing more of what they love.
Some suggestions on how to make connections that matter in a child’s life and help support families while doing what you love include: