Each December, BL Broadcasting collaborates with local Child Protection Teams in our area to bring awareness to and raise funds for Child Abuse Prevention. The public service announcements during the on-air event state, “It shouldn’t hurt to be a child.” How true.
Child abuse is difficult to think about, but we need to think about it and we need to create a community where parents are supported and children are nurtured.
April is Child Abuse Prevention month, another time of year to bring awareness to the struggles parents and children in our community are facing. It’s a time to shine a light on the good work being done to strengthen families.
Here at Bridges of Hope, we are proud to partner with Crow Wing County in a state-wide program called Parent Support Outreach Program (PSOP). This is a voluntary program for families to engage in when the want to stabilize their struggles with basic needs and strengthen their parenting skills. Click here to read about how the PSOP program helped Cindy and her family.
Another service in our community that aims to support parents and reduce child abuse & neglect is Crisis Nursery Services, which is free, short-term crisis childcare for children 0-12 in Crow Wing County and the surrounding areas. The goal of the Crisis Nursery is to provide a safe place for children during a family crisis like Kendra & her children experienced.
Crisis Nursery is made possible through the Crow Wing County Child Protection Team with funds that YOU donate during the Radiothon to End Child Abuse. THANK YOU!
As community members, there are many things we can do to support families around us. Prevent Child Abuse Minnesota makes the following suggestions about what to do if you see a parent who is “on edge” in public:
- Divert the adult’s attention.
Start a conversation with the adult. Offer sympathy. For example, you could say, “Shopping with children can really try your patience, can’t it?” Talk to the child.
If the child is acting out or misbehaving, start a friendly conversation to distract him or her.
Praise the parent or child.
Find something positive to say about the child or the parent. For example, “That’s a pretty dress your daughter is wearing. Where did you get it?”
Offer to help.
For example, if a child has been left unattended in a grocery cart, stay near him or her until a caretaker returns.
Avoid negative looks or comments.This may only increase the adult’s anger, making things worse for the child.
There are many preventative efforts happening in our community, however it is important to state that if you suspect a child is being abused or neglected in our area, you should contact Crow Wing County Social Services at 218-824-1140.
In honor of Child Abuse Prevention Month, please take a moment to enrich the life of a child in your life and support the parents around you. It really does take a village to raise a child!