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Make Connections that Matter this Child Abuse Prevention Month

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:

  • Wear blue on April 5 to join a national day dedicated to bringing awareness to child abuse prevention strategies that work! Share with the hashtag #WearBlue.
  • Plant pinwheels in your front yard or wear a pinwheel lapel pin to start important conversations with your neighbors and coworkers.
  • Purchase a Kids First License Plate to help fund local prevention programs and raise awareness on the roads.
  • Take PCANC’s free online training, Recognizing & Responding to Suspicions of Child Maltreatment.
  • Contact PCANC about hosting a Connections Matter training at your workplace, school, faith community, or community group.
  • Participate in the ThinkBabiesTM NC Advocacy Day on April 9.
  • Sign your family up to walk or run in the 5 Factors Fund 5k on April 13.
  • Join us in planting Pinwheels for Prevention® at American Tobacco Campus on April 14.
  • Volunteer for an after-school reading program or book club.
  • Give a new parent a break by cooking dinner, offering to run an errand, or babysitting.
  • Coach a youth sports team to teach kids the value of teamwork.
  • Host a kids-friendly BBQ or organize a block party so parents can socialize.

Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina

A chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America

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