Elmira– Chemung County Executive Tom Santulli has proclaimed April as Child Abuse Prevention Month in Chemung County. This is a time to come together to celebrate community efforts to ensure all children have great childhoods. When children have safe, stable, nurturing relationships with their parents and other adults in their community it builds healthy brain architecture, forming a sturdy foundation for future success.
Once again the Chemung County Department of Social Services Children and Family Services Division will be partnering with Glove House to “plant” a Pinwheel Garden at the County Human Resource Center on Pennsylvania Avenue in Elmira. Many other organizations and businesses will also plant Pinwheel gardens to promote Child Abuse Prevention month. Why Pinwheels? Pinwheels remind us of carefree, happy childhood. They are a visible symbol of the kind of childhood every kid deserves.
“Child abuse can be prevented and we want to the community to know that we all have an important part in making that happen. When we work together to promote nurturing parent‚??child interactions, teach discipline that is safe and age‚??appropriate, and foster early learning opportunities, we actually support child development and healthy family relationships ‚?? the very actions that help to prevent child abuse and neglect,” saidKellie Lowman, Director of Children and Family Services. “When the well‚??being of children and families becomes the priority of everyone in a community, the number of child abuse and neglect incidents will decrease. Other good things also happen for families, including better health outcomes, improved school performance and stronger economic self‚??sufficiency,” added Lowman.
Adverse childhood experiences such as child abuse and neglect result in toxic stress that damages the developing brain architecture. If left unaddressed, this leads to increased risk of academic failure, chronic long-term health issues, and increased crime rates and violence. One of the most effective ways to prevent these long-term consequences is to ensure children grow up in nurturing, supportive homes and communities.
This month and throughout the year, Chemung County Children and Family Servicesencourages all individuals and organizations to play a role in making Chemung County a better place for children and families. By ensuring that parents have the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to care for their children, we can help promote children’s social and emotional well-being and prevent child maltreatment within families and communities.
Research shows that when parents possess six protective factors, the risk for neglect and abuse diminish and optimal outcomes for children, youth, and families are promoted. The six protective factors are:
• Nurturing and attachment
• Knowledge of parenting and of child and youth development
• Parental resilience
• Social connections
• Concrete supports for parents
• Social and emotional developmental well-being
Chemung County Department of Social Services, Children and Family Services, will host two open houses at the Human Resource Center, 425 Pennsylvania Ave, Elmira, NY 14904 on Tuesday, April 7th from 9am to 12noon and Wednesday, April 22nd from 1pm to 4pm. We encourage families and community members to come and ask questions and learn more about ways to prevent child abuse prevention. Other community agencies will also be present to share information about their programs.
For more information about child abuse prevention programs and activities during the month of April, and throughout the year, contact Children and Family Services, 607-737-5402.