As we celebrate the start of spring, a season of growth and beauty, we are also celebrating the organizations and movements in Central Indiana that help prevent child abuse, giving children the opportunity to grow and thrive. April is Child Abuse Prevention Month – a month where we shed a light on child abuse and lift up the actions we can all take to prevent it.
What is Child Abuse?
In Indiana, child abuse is considered any action or lack of action by a parent, guardian, or custodian that seriously endangers a child’s physical or mental health. In 2021, Indiana reported 60 fatalities as a result of child abuse – 10 of which were in Marion County. According to Indiana Youth Institute data, Indiana ranks 29th in the nation for abuse rates.
How Do We Prevent Child Abuse?
MCCOY works closely with several partners in Marion County and across the state, including the Department of Child Services, to prevent child abuse. The CDC promotes five key strategies and multiple approaches to prevent child abuse and neglect in a technical package that states and counties can use to develop comprehensive and evidence-based prevention plans.
The Early Intervention Planning Council of Marion County meets quarterly to advise MCCOY’s prevention work and respond to emerging challenges in the youth development field. In addition, MCCOY has launched the Closing the Gap Initiative to strengthen school and community partnerships to provide more support for students and families. Child abuse prevention can take many different approaches, and we all have a role to play!
Get Involved with Child Abuse Prevention Month!
There are several opportunities throughout April to get involved and join the community in learning more about child abuse prevention.
Pinwheels for Prevention: Purchase your pinwheel garden from Prevent Child Abuse Indiana to spread the message that every child deserves the chance to be raised in a healthy, safe, nurturing environment.
Pinwheels for Prevention Coloring Raffle: Enter to be one of 3 winners of a family game night basket!
Child Abuse Prevention Month Calendar: Find meaningful actions you can take throughout the month to build a stronger community for our children!
April 4 – State Prevention Child Abuse Prevention Month Kickoff: Join Governor Holcomb, DCS Directory Terry Stigdon, The Villages CEO Shannon Schumacher, and PCAIN Director, Jeff Wittman, to hear messages about the role we all play in prevention efforts.
April 22 – Matt Breman Run: Join the family and pet friendly 5k along the canal in downtown Indianapolis.
MCCOY will be distributing Social Emotional Learning Kits to families at Daniel Webster School 46, who we have been partnering with since 2021 to pilot a school-based community health worker program!
Learn more about child abuse prevention through these online resources:
Prevent Child Abuse Indiana: Offers a number a prevention resources, including education materials and trainings, that can help you lean about primary prevention.
Prevent Child Abuse America: Advocates for policies and services that strengthen families and communities, promote healthy child development, and prevent child abuse and neglect before it happens.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Reports public health data and strategies for child abuse and neglect prevention.
Administration for Children & Families: Provides funds to state, territory, local, and tribal organizations to provide family assistance, child support, childcare, Head Start, and other programs related to children and families.
Children Welfare Information Gateway: Provides resources on standards for prevention programs, reports from State programs, and information on types of programs addressing the prevention of child abuse and neglect.