21st National Conference on Child Abuse & Neglect

The national conference on child abuse and neglect began today, and will be held until Friday. The purpose of the conference is to discuss and advance goals that will build protective factors to prevent child abuse and neglect and strengthen the capacity of families.

Hosted by the Children’s Bureau at HHS' Administration for Children and Families, the 21st National Conference on Child Abuse & Neglect brings together more than 2,000 child welfare staff, child maltreatment prevention partners, parents and community members from around the country, to explore strategies that promote healthy child development and well-being. The conference is designed to address the complex, multi-faceted issues of preventing child maltreatment, promoting the safety, permanency, and well-being of children and families and supporting at-risk families. The National Conference on Child Abuse & Neglect is the only federally-sponsored national conference devoted to the issues of preventing child maltreatment.

“We have an opportunity to transform our system when it comes to preventing child abuse and neglect,” said Lynn Johnson, Assistant Secretary for Children and Families. “We can move from a child welfare system that operates in isolation and does not produce the outcomes children and families deserve, to an integrated system of support that creates the conditions for strong and thriving families, and communities where children are free from harm.”

This year's initiative also highlights the 2019 Prevention Resource Guide: Strong and Thriving Families, which supports child welfare service providers in their work with parents, caregivers, and children to strengthen families and prevent child maltreatment. This year’s theme, “Strong and Thriving Families,” focuses on helping individuals and organizations in communities strengthen families and prevent child abuse and neglect.

“By working together, pooling our ideas and creative energies, we can change child welfare to create environments where children and families thrive,” said Jerry Milner, Acting Commissioner of the Administration on Children, Youth and Families and Associate Commissioner of the Children’s Bureau. “Child welfare can and should be a support for families, not a substitute for parents, and not a source of trauma and loss. Strengthening the well-being of children and their parents so that we have “Strong and Thriving Families” is what child welfare should be all about.”

The Children’s Bureau is honoring five winners of its Champion Awards at the conference. The award recognizes the efforts of agencies, community-based organizations, businesses, courts, individuals, parent leaders and others who have made exceptional contributions in promoting the health and well-being of children and families. The complete list of the 2019 Champion Awards recipients can be found at: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/blog/2019/04/2019-champion-awards-winners.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. In January, the Children’s Bureau published the 28th edition of the Child Maltreatment Report, which showed that a national estimate of 1,720 children died from abuse and neglect in fiscal year 2017. To view the press release regarding the report, visit: Child abuse, neglect data released. For additional information about the conference, please visit: 21st National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect.

Quotes

We have an opportunity to transform our system when it comes to preventing child abuse and neglect. We can move from a child welfare system that operates in isolation and does not produce the outcomes children and families deserve, to an integrated system of support that creates the conditions for strong and thriving families, and communities where children are free from harm.
Lynn Johnson, Assistant Secretary for Children and Families
By working together, pooling our ideas and creative energies, we can change child welfare to create environments where children and families thrive. Child welfare can and should be a support for families, not a substitute for parents, and not a source of trauma and loss. Strengthening the well-being of children and their parents so that we have “Strong and Thriving Families” is what child welfare should be all about.
Jerry Milner, Acting Commissioner of the Administration on Children, Youth and Families and Associate Commissioner of the Children’s Bureau
Last Reviewed: April 24, 2019
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