April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. This month and throughout the year, everyone is encouraged to play a role in making Harbor Pediatrics a better place for children and families. By ensuring that parents have the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to care for their children, we can help promote children's social and emotional well-being and prevent child maltreatment within families and communities.
Research shows that when parents possess six protective factors, the risk for neglect and abuse diminish and optimal outcomes for children, youth, and families are promoted. The six protective factors are:
• Nurturing and attachment: Encouraging nurturing and strong attachment relationships between children and their caregivers.
• Knowledge of parenting and of child and youth development: Enhancing skills in positive parenting/teaching (disciplining) and in understanding child development
• Parental resilience: Asking screening questions to parents about mental health and safety
• Social connections: Helping parents identify sources of support within their families/communities
• Concrete supports for parents: Familiarizing yourself with the community resources that exist to support families and asking experienced colleagues about local resources
• Social and emotional developmental well-being: Helping parents understand how each child expresses their needs/emotions and helping teach children how to express their needs
"April is a time to celebrate the important role that communities play in protecting children,"
said Gauri Kolhatkar. "Everyone's participation is critical. Focusing on ways to build and promote the protective factors, in every interaction with children and families, is the best thing our community can do to prevent child maltreatment and promote optimal child development."
For more information about child abuse prevention programs and activities during the month of
April, and throughout the year, contact Gauri Kolhatkar: gkolhatkar[at]labiomed.org and visit the national Child Welfare Prevention website.