Help Strengthen Families and Prevent Child Abuse
April 2023 · Ministry News, Press Releases
Salina, Kansas – April 17, 2023 – April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and many Saint Francis staff is wearing blue on Fridays to show support for children and families and to raise awareness of the observance leading into the month. In addition, look for blue pinwheels and banners placed at Saint Francis offices throughout the organization’s service areas.
This month and throughout the year, Saint Francis Ministries encourages all individuals and organizations to play a role in making their communities better places 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 the social and emotional well-being of children and youth and prevent child maltreatment within families and communities.
Protective factors are the strengths and resources families draw on during difficult times to shield them from life’s stresses. Research shows that when parents possess protective factors, the risk for neglect and abuse diminish and optimal outcomes for children, youth, and families are promoted. Major protective factors include knowledge of parenting, knowledge of child development, parental resilience, social connections, and concrete supports.
“Child maltreatment is a complicated social issue,” says Pamela Cornwell, SFM clinical services director. “In about 80 percent of cases, the perpetrator of child abuse or neglect is a parent or other person responsible for the primary care of the child. Impairment of the caregiver’s mental or physical health, substance use, lack of understanding or education on parenting or child development, difficulty bonding or nurturing the child, and a personal history of child abuse tend to be the leading precursors of child maltreatment. The good news is that these issues do not have to be completely resolved to change the course of child abuse and neglect. Supports, services, and interventions focused on building and maintaining healthy, supportive relationships can be the key, even while addressing these other issues.”
In support of these efforts, the Kansas Children’s Service League has created a toolkit of resources to help you celebrate CAP Month. You can find it at https://www.kcsl.org/resources/cap-month/.
For more information about Saint Francis Ministries programs and services for at-risk children and families, visit SaintFrancisMinistries.org.
About Saint Francis Ministries
Saint Francis Ministries work encompasses foster care, therapeutic foster care, adoption, family preservation/intensive in-home services, residential care, and community outreach services. Strongly rooted in the Episcopal tradition, SFM was founded by an Episcopal priest in 1945 in Ellsworth, Kansas. The organization now serves more than 11,000 individuals through child and family welfare services in Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Texas, and Arkansas. Additionally, Saint Francis provides supervised living and employment services for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Mississippi. The organization is headquartered in Salina, Kansas. For more information, visit www.saintfrancisministries.org or call 800.423.1342.