April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. During this critical time when families are sheltered in place, The Villages of Indiana and Prevent Child Abuse Indiana, a Division of The Villages, continue public outreach with awareness efforts through virtual lunch and learns, public information and family activities.
In Indiana, unemployment rates reported since mid-March show a 9.8% unemployment rate up from 3.1% in February. Research shows the incidence of neglect increases as the unemployment level goes up because many parents lack social and private safety nets. The study from Oxford University from 2004 to 2012 shows a one percentage point increase in the unemployment rate can increase neglect by 20%.
“This is why the focus of April’s child abuse prevention month is more important than ever,” says Sharon Pierce, CEO and president of The Villages of Indiana. “We’re providing important information and tools to increase community awareness to keep children safe during these unprecedented times.”
Keep Kids Safe Information for Essential Workers
Prevent Child Abuse Indiana has created a downloadable handout available for the community to share with essential workers. It features important information about the warning signs of child abuse and how to report it if it’s suspected. Download here
Virtual Lunch and Learn Trainings
Every Monday and Wednesday through April 27, from noon to 1 p.m., virtual trainings are hosted to provide prevention education information. These sessions are open to the public statewide.
Options for Discipline – April 20
Topics discussed include stages of child development, how to learn from discipline, and alternatives to physical discipline presented by Prevent Child Abuse Indiana Prevention Educator, Carol Pool, MSW. Sponsored by anonymous Villages board member.
Protecting Youth from Online Predators – April 22
During a time when youth are on the Internet more than ever, learning how to protect them from online predators is critical. This session will include tips to better protect children, regardless of age, from elementary to middle school to high school.
Virtual Lunch and Learn: Power of Prevention – April 27
This presentation will discuss the tiers of child abuse prevention. There will be a focus on the importance of primary prevention in preventing trauma and adverse childhood experiences. Sponsored by Hylant.
National Wear Blue Day, expanded
By wearing blue, people throughout the state have been demonstrating an awareness of and commitment to our shared responsibility for the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of the children and families in our communities. The public is encouraged to show support by wearing blue on Friday, April 17 and Friday, April 24. Take a photo and post it with the hashtag #PCAINgoesvirtual or #GreatchildhoodsIN.
On Friday, April 17, Kevin & John Schmidt and Stifel are sponsoring Blue Friday with a $5 donation, up to $500) for every person who shares their photo showing themselves wearing blue.
The Villages of Indiana champions every child’s right to a safe, permanent and nurturing home and serves more than 3,100 children and their families daily. This mission-driven, nonprofit agency is committed to strengthening all families and embracing the dignity and diversity of each child, youth and family served. As Indiana’s largest private non-profit that serves children and families, The Villages offers a statewide continuum of care that addresses the needs of abused, neglected and abandoned children, and is a leader in providing child abuse prevention services.
Prevent Child Abuse Indiana, a Division of The Villages, is dedicated to preventing child abuse and neglect in all its forms, and is committed to making Indiana a better, safer place for Indiana’s most precious resource – our children. Alongside committed volunteers throughout the state, Prevent Child Abuse Indiana increases awareness, informs about solutions, serves as a resource, advocates for expanded and improved programs and policies, and fosters a statewide network committed to child abuse prevention.
For more information regarding services provided by The Villages of Indiana, please visit www.VillagesKids.org or call 1-800-874-6880.