April is designated Child Abuse Prevention Month. It's a time when we are reminded that child abuse and neglect remains a deeply troubling issue for all of us.
Last year in our state:
- More than 35,000 reports of abuse and neglect were investigated;
- Thousands of children (5,775 to be exact) were placed in foster care;
- Tragically, 44 children died.
Currently in Fairfax County:
- There are 529 children living under the court’s protection;
- Thirty-four percent of those children are living or spent time in foster care.
All these statistics tell the tough-to-swallow truth: Children are still being abused and neglected in alarming numbers.
Our communities are working to eradicate abuse and neglect, so that every child may thrive and grow in a safe and nurturing home. Until each of us is made aware of the problem and declares it unacceptable, however, prevention cannot truly be successful.
That’s why I like to think of April as Child Abuse Prevention...and Awareness Month. We can all become part of the answer by raising awareness and sharing our knowledge with friends and neighbors. Here are three ways to accomplish this goal:
1. Recognize the warning signs of child abuse and neglect and speak up when you see something that doesn’t feel right.
3. Become a CASA volunteer and help ensure that each and every child grows up in a safe and permanent home. Reserve a spot at our April information session.
No matter which step you take, you you'll help us change a child’s life for good.