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April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month

Beginning in 1985, April has been nationally recognized as Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Child abuse is a major problem in our nation. Statistics show that in 2019, 33,060 children were abused or neglected in the State of Michigan. A total of 90 children were abused or neglected per day. A total of 63 children died from abuse and neglect during the past year.

The Children’s Trust Fund is Michigan’s lead agency in prevention efforts against child maltreatment and supports the work of local councils throughout the State of Michigan. As the local Children’s Trust Fund Council for Delta County, the Welcome Newborns program encourages all individuals and organizations to play a role in making Delta County a better place for families by ensuring that parents have the knowledge, skills and resources they need to care for their children.

Although months of planning activities to promote Child Abuse Prevention Month at both the state and local level were completed, everything changed due to COVID-19. The Welcome Newborns program is continuing to follow protocol for COVID-19, and are aligning with Michigan’s Children’s Trust Fund with regards to our Child Abuse Prevention and Welcome Newborn’s program projects.

With so much uncertainty over the last several weeks, many families are feeling stressed out. Events are being cancelled, spring break plans have been put on hold, hand sanitizer is in short supply, and schools are closed. People are stuck at home and losing their routines likely have increased stresses that contribute to child abuse. During this time, Welcome Newborns encourages families to take care of themselves and their children and to reach out to state hotlines for assistance to help them deal with their needs and stress. Protecting children is everybody’s business and we are all accountable. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), relationships with caring adults and positive role models can improve the outcome of our children. Be a part of preventing child abuse by staying in touch with families with children.

If you suspect a case of child abuse and neglect in the State of Michigan, please call the Michigan Child Abuse Hotline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-855-444-3911.

Although the local Welcome Newborns office is closed, it will continue to provide remote services to Welcome Newborns families during this time. Families are urged to view the Welcome Newborns Facebook Page for updated information. Families are also encouraged to view the Children’s Trust Fund Facebook page for Child Abuse Prevention and Neglect educational posts. To contact the program coordinator for the local Welcome Newborns program, send an e-mail to: rolandaberg@yahoo.com.

All services for the Welcome Newborns Program are free of charge to Delta county families regardless of income or where their baby was born.

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