April 1, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Crittenton Services for Children and Families
Martha Jasso, Director of Communications
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA – Crittenton Services for Children and Families (CSCF) is pleased to join the cities of Compton, Pomona, Fullerton, San Bernardino, and Long Beach in acknowledging the plight of children whose lives are being shattered by child abuse, and is calling on the local community for continued support in stopping violence against children and youth.
National Child Abuse Prevention Month is a national awareness campaign that takes place every year during the month of April.
The children’s memorial flag is flown throughout the country helping symbolize the statistic that one in five children have been lost due to abuse and neglect.
As a token of appreciation to the cities of Compton, Pomona, and Fullerton CSCF is presenting a children’s memorial flag from the Child Welfare League of America in commemoration of this month.
Community members, youth advocates, and the media are cordially invited to take part in the upcoming city council meetings.
A National Child Abuse Prevention Month proclamation and observance will take place on the following dates:
- City of Compton: April 1, 2014 at 3:00 pm
- City of Pomona: April 7, 2014 at 6:45 pm
- City of Fullerton: April 15, 2014 at 6:30 pm
- City of Long Beach: April 21, 2014 at 5:00 pm
- City of San Bernardino: April 21, 2014 at 4:00pm
“As an agency working heavily in these regions, it’s incredible to see their dedication to preventing child abuse and providing kids a safe place to grow up in. It’s an issue that takes everyone, not just parents, to really bring to the forefront, and the formal proclamation of April as Child Abuse Prevention Month raises that awareness and gets everyone involved,” said Stefanie Benvenuto, Director of Public Policy and Advocacy, CSCF.
Crittenton Services for Children and Families (CSCF) and our municipal government partners encourage all individuals and organizations to play a vital role in making all of Southern California a safe environment 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 abuse within the family unit and the community.
“April is a time to reflect and bring awareness to the important role that communities play in protecting one of our most valued treasures – our children,” said Joyce Capelle, CEO, CSCF. “Everyone’s participation is critical. Focusing on ways to build and promote protective measures, in every interaction with children and families, is a proactive solution our community can do to prevent child abuse.”
According to Los Angeles County’s, Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), Child Welfare Services/Case Management System, there was a total report of 177,150 emergency response referrals of potential child abuse allegations received by DCFS from March 2013 to February 2014.
In Los Angeles County, child abuse allegations range from general neglect to caretaker absence. The top three child abuse allegation types reported within this time frame includes: General Neglect at 52,708 referrals; followed by At Risk/Sibling Abuse at 41,613 referrals; and Physical Abuse at 39,199 referrals.
Sadly, this data is reflective of just one county within California.
These numbers are also indicative of the fact that we, as community members, leaders and family members still have work to do when it comes to eradicating and preventing the maltreatment of children throughout Southern California.
The community should know that you don’t have to be a social services professional to take part in National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Here is a list provided by the Child Welfare League of America of the top 10 things you can do to honor all children whose lives have been taken or altered by violence, abuse or neglect:
- Volunteer Your Time. Get involved with others in your community to help organizations that serve children and families in crisis.
- Discipline Your Children Thoughtfully. Never discipline your child when you are upset. Show children and other adults that conflicts can be settled without hitting or yelling.
- Support Prevention Programs. Invest in programs that help stop abuse, such as, family counseling.
- Know What Child Abuse Is, and What the Signs Are. Take the time to learn what child abuse is and who you can contact to help a child in need.
- Report Abuse. If you witness a child being harmed or have evidence of abuse connect with child protective services or local police.
- Invest in Kids. Encourage community leaders to support children rights or programs geared to the overall health and well-being of the family.
- Contact Elected Officials. Reach out to your governor, state legislators, county and city officials with feedback on legislation that concerns child welfare.
- Participate in Ceremonies to Memorialize Children. Hold candlelight vigils or host events in your community to remember those children who were lost to violence.
- Raise Public Awareness. Issue news releases and share compelling stories about National Child Abuse Prevention Month to the media, advocacy groups, parent-teacher groups, community centers or any other influential group that is willing to listen to your message.
Crittenton Services for Children and Families of Southern California (CSCF) is a non-profit social services agency whose mission is to heal the wounds of abuse and neglect; strengthen families; and help troubled adolescents reach their full potential. Established and incorporated in 1966 Crittenton has a highly trained workforce operating 24 hours a day / 7 days a week providing comprehensive counseling, medical, and other support services to the clients in our care. We provide a full array of residential, in-home, community based, wraparound, mental health, foster care, and adoption services with a service planning area throughout Southern California that covers Orange, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside and San Diego Counties.
Topics: Non-Profit, Social Services, Child Welfare Advocacy, National Child Abuse Prevention Month, Community Based Services, Residential Treatment Services, Youth Shelter Services, Adverse Childhood Experiences, Mental Health, Mental Health Services, Continuum of Care Services, Trauma-Informed Care, Foster Care, Wraparound Family Services
Geography: Los Angeles County, Calif., Orange County, Calif., San Bernardino County, Calif.