April Is National Child Abuse Prevention Month

Throughout the month of April, Prevent Child Abuse Indiana and the Child Abuse Prevention Council of Montgomery County, a program of the Youth Service Bureau, remind Montgomery County residents that helping our communities and families create healthy, nurturing environments for children is one of the best investments we can make.

During this time, it is more important than ever that we support each other and especially families who are under extreme stress. Check in on your families, families in your neighborhood, families at your church. Offer help where and whenever you can.

Most of all if you suspect child abuse or neglect, call and report it. While we do not take abuse or neglect reports here at the Youth Service Bureau, please contact the Indiana Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 1-800-800-5556 to report suspected abuse or neglect. Many people are afraid to make a call, saying it is not their business or that they do not know for sure there is abuse or neglect. Protecting our children and youth is the business of the community. It is our responsibility to look out for our most vulnerable community members who cannot look out for themselves. You do not need to know for certain that there is abuse or neglect, an assessor from the Department of Child Services can determine that and offer support and assistance to families in need.

Preventing child abuse and neglect will take effort from every one of us, from policy makers to parents, to ensure our children have the foundation to become tomorrow’s leaders. Prevent Child Abuse Indiana and our local council act as educators, working to heighten public awareness of the need for caring communities to promote healthy child development; coalition builders organizing concerned citizens and groups to join forces and leverage resources to prevent child abuse; catalysts advocating for important programs and policies that help communities support parents and help parents raise healthy children; and trainers providing professionals and volunteers with the essential skills and knowledge to help parents and communities prevent child abuse and neglect.

You may ask what you can do to help prevent abuse and neglect in Montgomery County. Supporting families and ensuring parents have the knowledge skills and resources they need are effective ways to protect children from the risk of child abuse and neglect. Children do well when their parents do well. Parents do best when they live in communities that actively support families. We can champion services and provide the support they need to raise strong, healthy and successful children. It begins with awareness but it does not end there.

As part of our awareness campaign, we are pleased to promote the national pinwheel symbol of prevention. The pinwheel was chosen for its positive association with children and with happy images of childhood. It represents the hope and promise that every child can be raised in a healthy, safe and nurturing environment. If you would like to have a pinwheel garden at your church, business or agency to highlight Child Abuse Prevention, just come by the Youth Service Bureau at 808 W. Pike St. We have free pinwheels and yard signs for you to display to support our message. Also, as you see the pinwheel

gardens planted around our community, we hope you will be reminded of the need for all of us to be involved in making our community a healthy and safe place for children.

We also have a variety of child abuse prevention materials that we are happy to share with any church, organization or business that would like to have them. Additionally, the Child Abuse Prevention Council of Montgomery County provides, at no cost, training for adults about prevention, signs and symptoms of abuse and mandated reporting. If your church or organization is interested in this training just contact the Youth Service Bureau to schedule a presentation.

If we all work together in Montgomery County we can achieve our vision of having a community where all children and youth are respected, nurtured and protected. We appreciate the support we receive to make this vision a reality.

For more information about what you can do to prevent child abuse in our community, please contact the Child Abuse Prevention Council of Montgomery County at the Youth Service Bureau at 765-362-0694, ext. 105 or visit our website at