We all play a role: Tips for preventing child abuse and neglect
Phoenix, AZ (April 4, 2023)
Parenthood should not be a lonely journey.
That is why it is important to recognize we all play a role in ensuring Arizona children thrive in safe and loving homes.
Since April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, the Arizona Department of Child Safety would like to remind the public that the best way to prevent child abuse is by providing parents with the knowledge, resources, and skills they need to strengthen their families.
DCS would like to offer the following tips on how you can help prevent child abuse now and throughout the year:
- Support relatives and friends: 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 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.
- Think 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.
- Discuss safe sleep habits with your loved ones: Before you say goodnight to your baby, take a moment to acknowledge the ABCs of safe sleep. Babies sleep safest when they are Alone, on their Back, and in a Crib. Don’t wake up to a tragedy; talk to your loved ones, caregivers, and other parents about safe sleep best practices.
- Get connected to your community: Local communities support parents by making sure they have access to everything they require to raise a healthy family. Creating connections with neighbors and statewide agencies will help them find the support they need. Many of these resources can be found in their own backyard, and 2-1-1 Arizona can help locate them.
- Be mindful of 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. There are services, resources, and people focused on providing hope and helping parents weather a crisis. It can be hard to know what mental health options exist. The Crisis Response Network is available 24/7/365 as a connection point between parents and the services they need.
- Locate prevention programs: The best way to prevent child abuse is to provide families with 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.
Child Abuse Prevention Month Events for Families
Arizona’s Regional Child Abuse Prevention Councils are holding Child Abuse Prevention Month Events throughout the state for families to attend. Below is a list of events and information on registering:
- April 9, 1-5 pm – Family Game Day - HAVEN Family Resource Center 2174 McCulloch Blvd N, Lake Havasu City
- April 15, 11-2 pm Pinwheel Party – Prescott Valley Civic Center Lawn 7501 E Civic Circle Prescott Valley
- April 17, 5:30-7 pm Training, Meal, and Discussion – Fredonia (Pre-registration required, contact: [email protected])
- April 18, 5-6:30 pm Training, Meal, and Discussion – Flagstaff (Pre-registration required, contact: [email protected])
- April 26, 5:30-7 pm Training, Meal, and Discussion – Page (Pre-registration required, contact: [email protected])
- April 26, 9:30-11 am Parent Workshops (3-day training) – Phoenix (Pre-registration required, contact: [email protected])
- April 29, 10-12 pm Celebrate Children’s Day – Phoenix (Pre-registration required, contact: [email protected])
- April 29, 10-12 pm Celebrate Children’s Day Drive Through Event – Mesa (Pre-registration required, contact: [email protected])