By Jerry Milner, Associate Commissioner, Children’s Bureau and Caren Harp, Administrator, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
In order to promote safety for children, focus on abuse prevention, and raise awareness, President Donald Trump has proclaimed April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month. The president is calling on “all Americans to invest in the lives of our nation’s children, to be aware of their safety and well-being, and to support efforts that promote their psychological, physical, and emotional development.”
Our agencies answer the President’s call daily and will now partner to strengthen our resolution to end child abuse and neglect.
Beginning this year, the Children’s Bureau within the Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families and the Justice Department’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention are partnering to support children throughout the year. Together, federal and community organizations focus on community-based solutions to keep children safe and to help families thrive.
We know that exposure to violence or neglect during childhood can have serious, long-lasting consequences, including failure to succeed in school, substance abuse and juvenile delinquency. According to a report published by the Department of Health and Human Services, in FY 2017, 3.5 million children were the subject of a child protective services investigation or an alternative response. Child abuse and neglect are destructive—and far too common—realities in our communities.
The Children’s Bureau and OJJDP believe strongly in the ability of partnerships and community-based solutions to decrease incidence—and lessen the impacts—of child abuse and neglect. That is why both agencies continue to foster and support community partnerships throughout the country and are working together to highlight federal resources available for families and professionals.
OJJDP is joining the Children’s Bureau in promoting the WE CAN -- Work to End Child Abuse and Neglect -- campaign. WE CAN is a visually-compelling social media campaign that suggests concrete actions communities can take to end child abuse and neglect. Please join us in making a difference by downloading and sharing these activities and daily updates throughout the campaign.
Here are some examples of what we do all year long to support children’s safety and well-being.
The Children’s Bureau aims to reorient the child welfare system to focus on strengthening families through prevention networks. The Children’s Bureau:
OJJDP joins HHS in recognizing that prevention is essential and supports our community partners as they work to prevent child abuse and mitigate its negative effects:
The Children’s Bureau and OJJDP are deeply committed to keeping children safe and meeting their needs at the local level. With our state and local partners, we can provide all children with safe, stable and nurturing homes and communities.