All of us can play a role in preventing child abuse.
With Governor Doug Ducey proclaiming April Child Abuse Prevention Month, the Department of Child Safety would like to offer some tips on how you can help prevent child abuse.
Lend a hand to a relative or friend:Parenting is one of the most rewarding experiences in life. But at times, it can be extremely stressful. If you see a friend or relative struggling with the stress, offer to watch their children so they can take a break.
Recognize the signs of abuse: Unexplained injuries are only one sign of abuse. Withdrawal from family and friends, inappropriate sexual behavior, sudden changes in eating or sleeping patterns and bursts of anger may indicate a child is being neglected or abused.
Be thoughtful before disciplining a child: Discipline is a way to teach your child, not punish them. Never discipline your child when you are angry. Try using privileges to promote good behavior and time outs when your child is acting up.
Promote programs in the community: Sponsor an after-school activity for kids, teach parent education classes, or volunteer to be a mentor are some of the ways you can help keep kids safe in your community.
Take time for yourself: Don’t let problems pile up until you feel overwhelmed. Make sure you take some time to address your needs. If you need help, ask for help.
Support prevention programs: The best way to prevent child abuse is to provide families help and resources before a report is made to DCS. For more information on prevention programs, visit DCS’s Office of Prevention webpage.
If you see something, say something: If you have reason to believe a child is being abused or witness child abuse or neglect, call 1-888-SOS-CHILD to report the abuse to DCS.
For more information on DCS and child abuse prevention, visit dcs.az.gov.