April was first declared Child Abuse Prevention Month by presidential proclamation in 1983. Since then, April has been a time to acknowledge the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse by, Stepping Up, Speaking Up, and Reaching Out.
According to a partial year report from Prevent Child Abuse NC, there were 130,076 children with investigated reports of possible abuse and neglect in North Carolina from July 2014 to June 2015; and in 2013 there were 25 children that died at the hand of a parent or caregiver in North Carolina. The number of fatalities varies from year to year and deaths result from a range of situations.
The majority of child abuse cases stemmed from situations and conditions that can be preventable when community programs and systems are engaged and supportive. A community that cares about early childhood development, parental support, and maternal mental health, for instance, is more likely to foster nurturing families and healthy children.
According to the Preventing Child Maltreatment and Promoting Well-Being: A Network for Action 2013 Resource Guide factors known to prevent and reduce child abuse and neglect are including:
- Parental resilience
- Nurturing and attachment
- Social connections
- Knowledge about parenting and child development
- Social and emotional competence of children
- Concrete supports for parents.
North Carolina law requires all adults to report suspected child maltreatment.