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Child Abuse Prevention Month this April to highlight the importance of ‘Building a Hopeful Future Together’

Child Abuse Prevention Month this April to highlight the importance of ‘Building a Hopeful Future Together’

BISMARCK, ND - In recognition of national Child Abuse Prevention Month in April, Prevent Child Abuse North Dakota and North Dakota Health and Human Services (HHS) are joining parent and family resource centers, local child welfare service providers and other partner agencies in highlighting the importance of working together in communities to serve and support children and families so that child abuse and neglect can be prevented.

“We are excited to lead this year’s awareness and impact campaign, ‘Building a Hopeful Future Together,’ with our national organization Prevent Child Abuse America,” said Prevent Child Abuse North Dakota Program Director Veronica Wiesz. “Our team is dedicated to bringing new and existing partners together to support North Dakota children, families and communities.”

In calendar year 2023, there were 580 confirmed cases of child abuse and/or neglect in North Dakota. Extreme stress, unmet needs and uncertainty for families may increase the risk of child abuse and neglect.

“Having a month dedicated to raising awareness about child abuse prevention creates an opportunity for everyone to stand in solidarity advocating for all children to grow up in safe and healthy homes,” HHS Children and Family Services Section Director Cory Pedersen said. “Communities have a vital role ensuring children have positive experiences and families have the resources they need at the right time before they are in crisis.”

Throughout April, Prevent Child Abuse North Dakota, HHS and local partners are promoting Child Abuse Prevention Month activities and events to emphasize the importance of building a narrative of hope for the future of children and families.

April is also a time to remind people that North Dakota has a law that allows parents to turn to approved Baby Safe Haven sites if they are unable to safely care for their baby. Parents can safely surrender a baby up to one year of age without fear of prosecution or questions. Babies must be unharmed and given to an on-duty staff member at a hospital or other approved location.

North Dakotans can help raise awareness and impact this month in the following ways:

  • Wear blue on April 1, in recognition of North Dakota’s Wear Blue Day and on April 5, for the national Wear Blue Day. By wearing blue on these days, North Dakotans can show their support for children and families and help build momentum for Child Abuse Prevention Month. Those who wear blue are encouraged to post a photo or video on social media and include #WearBlueDay2024.
  • Participate in local Child Abuse Prevention Month activities and events. Hosted by partner agencies across North Dakota, local in-person and virtual activities include community discussions about parenting, a Caring for Kids Conference, a family Wear Blue Day Hike, a human trafficking and social media safety presentation for parents, a Stepping up for Children Walk; Child Abuse Prevention Month Virtual Series for parents and caregivers of children hosted by Prevent Child Abuse North Dakota, and more. Find a complete list of featured events on Prevent Child Abuse North Dakota’s website pcand.org/child-abuse-prevention-month.
  • Follow Prevent Child Abuse North Dakota on Facebook and share posts throughout April. Encourage friends and family to do the same. Use the hashtags #BuildingTogether, #PreventionInPartnership, #HopefulFutures and #CAPMonth2024 to show your commitment to helping children, families and entire communities to thrive.
  • Plant a virtual pinwheel in your state, a visual reminder of the world we want for all children to grow up happy, healthy and prepared to succeed through Pinwheels for Prevention®.

Reporting Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect
HHS reminds individuals that if they suspect a child in North Dakota is being abused or neglected, they should call the statewide toll-free Child Abuse & Neglect Reporting Line at 1-833-958-3500. If it’s an emergency and a child is in immediate danger, call 911.

Child Abuse Prevention

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