Keenan Blog

Child Abuse Prevention Month Promotes Strong and Thriving Families

April 02, 2019

National Child Abuse Prevention Month is observed each April, and for 2019 the focus is Strong and Thriving Families. Participating in Child Abuse Prevention Month is a best practice for keeping our children safer in our schools and neighborhoods and raising awareness of an ongoing problem that continues to create tragic impacts. Helping to build stronger, more resilient families fosters healthy child and youth development.

Juggling the demands of work, home, and other responsibilities leaves many parents feeling like they do not have nearly enough time with their children. But even small acts of kindness, protection, and caring—a hug, a smile, or loving words—make a big difference to children. Research shows that babies who receive affection and nurturing from their parents have the best chance of developing into children, teens, and adults who are happy, healthy, and possess relational, self-regulation, and problem-solving skills. Research also shows that a consistent relationship with caring adults in the early years of life is associated with better grades, healthier behaviors, more positive peer interactions, and an increased ability to cope with stress later in life.

Communities have a great influence in families’ lives. Just as plants are more likely to thrive in a garden with good soil and plenty of sunlight and water, families are more likely to thrive in supportive communities. A safe place for children to play is one feature of a supportive community. Other features include the availability of food, shelter, and medical care for families as well as a culture that encourages neighbors to get to know and help one another. The combined efforts of schools, local governments, medical and mental care resources, faith communities and other community organizations serve as an essential network in nurturing families.

During the month of April, Keenan is highlighting our child abuse prevention resources that are available to all schools for free. Our Abuse Prevention Center has a wealth of best practice articles, online training resources, downloadable posters and other tools to help keep kids safe at school. If you are going to the CASBO conference in San Diego April 15-18, stop by the Keenan booth and learn more about our abuse prevention resources. And please join us in our Wear Blue Day April 17 to show your support for child abuse prevention. Stop by the ReLiEF booth at CASBO wearing your blue and you will get a special gift.

Additional information for the community, families and individuals participating in National Child Abuse Prevention Month can be found at the US Department of Health & Human Services web site: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/preventing/preventionmonth/

About John Stephens
John Stephens has been in the insurance and risk management industry for more than 20 years and currently runs Keenan's Public Agency Property & Casualty Practice.