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April Is Prevent Child Abuse Awareness Month
Updated April 1, 2016 6:40 AM
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(INDIANAPOLIS) - Child abuse and neglect affects children of every age, gender, race, and income level. As a community, we have a responsibility to help every child reach their full potential.

Prevent Child Abuse Awareness Month is a time for families and communities to come together, honor the children affected by abuse and neglect, and raise awareness of resources and programs of prevention.

"Each day our agency must respond to reports of tragic abuse and neglect," said Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) Director, Mary Beth Bonaventura. "This month gives us an opportunity to highlight community resources to help at-risk parents and ultimately keep children safe."

On April 11, Governor Pence will recognize Prevent Child Abuse Awareness Month with a presentation starting at 2pm at the Statehouse, followed by a planting of a pinwheel garden on the south Statehouse lawn. We would like to thank Governor Pence for his continued support to help DCS serve the children of Indiana.

Statewide Prevent Child Abuse Awareness Events/Activities

Again this year, DCS and our partners will host local Prevent Child Abuse Awareness Events/Activities across Indiana. Additional events are still being finalized. Each is tailored to each local community to best reach and inform families of child abuse prevention resources available.

A Google map with the current events, locations, and additional information is available on the Prevent Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month web page www.in.gov/dcs/preventchildabuse. Please be aware the Google map will be updated throughout the month with additional events as they become available.

Risk Factors that contribute to abuse and neglect of children:

  • Immaturity of Parent
  • Unrealistic Parenting Expectations
  • Lack of Understanding of Child Development
  • Stress
  • Substance Abuse
  • Isolation
  • Intergenerational Patterns of Abuse or Neglect.
DCS Prevention Programs
  • Healthy Families Indiana is a voluntary home visitation program designed to promote healthy families and healthy children through a variety of services, including child development, access to health care and parent education. www.in.gov/dcs/healthyfamilies
  • Community Partners for Child Safety is a statewide prevention program. It is designed to strengthen the family unit and build support services. It is voluntary, free, and provides home-based services to connect families with resources. www.in.gov/dcs/communitypartners
  • Youth Service Bureaus (YSBs) & Safe Place provide a variety of programs aimed at preventing delinquent behavior in teenagers. http://www.in.gov/dcs/3326.htm
Other Resources
  • Children's Mental Health Initiative allows families access to needed services so that children do not enter the child welfare or probation system for the sole purpose of accessing mental health assistance. www.in.gov/dcs/cmhi
  • Kids First Trust Fund

The mission of the Kids First Trust Fund is to promote the health of children and reduce infant mortality by funding programs which prevent child abuse and neglect. www.kidsfirst.in.gov

How can you help prevent abuse and neglect?

If you suspect abuse or neglect, please call the Indiana Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 1-800-800-5556.

  • Reach out to parents that you know and offer a hand or emotional support.
  • Volunteer time to programs that help parents.
  • Let all of the children in your life know that that they can depend on you.
  • Advocate for community services to help families.
  • Report suspected child abuse or neglect.
  • Consider becoming a foster parent.

Indiana Department of Child Services

The Indiana Department of Child Services protects children from abuse and neglect and works to ensure the financial support of children. Indiana Child Abuse/Neglect Hotline: 800.800.5556. Child Support Customer Service Kidsline: 800.840.8757 or 317.233.5437. www.in.gov/dcs

Our Partners

Prevent Child Abuse Indiana is dedicated to preventing child abuse and neglect, and is committed to making Indiana a better, safer place for Indiana's most precious resources - our children. http://pcain.org/

Indiana Child Advocates (Court Appointed Special Advocates or CASA) These volunteers are carefully trained, appointed by the court and supported by program staff so they can advocate for the child's best interests and help them have a safe and permanent home as soon as possible. http://www.childadvocatesnetwork.org/



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