If we focus on community activities and public policies that prioritize prevention right from the start, we can work together to make sure child abuse and neglect never happens.
Communities across New Jersey are recognizing that healthy childhood experiences are not just good for children, but good for their own neighborhoods as well. The actions we take to promote healthy child development are the very actions that help to prevent child abuse and neglect, like parent-child interaction, reading, and constructive play. It is crucial to spend more time learning how stable, nurturing relationships influence a child's developing brain and provide a foundation for all future development.
Unfortunately, too many children are exposed to intensive stress like child abuse and neglect. Too much stress is bad for anyone and can be devastating to child development. This is why prevention is so critical.
The Sussex County Human Services Advisory Council's Child Abuse and Missing Children Subcommittee addresses the problems of child abuse and missing children in the county by arranging for educational programs for parents and children; providing information concerning available county and state services for abused children, their parents, and the parents of missing children; and, coordinating the provision of county services and programs concerning child abuse and missing children. The subcommittee utilized state grant funding for 2016 to assemble 113 informational and resource guide bags for distribution to Birth Haven Inc., Today's Choice, and Project Self-Sufficiency. The bags contained valuable information related to educational programs for parents and children and resource material for county, state, and federal service programs, as well as additional information regarding child health and safety. The subcommittee received an additional $2,500 grant for 2017 and is currently planning how to best utilize the funding.
Child abuse can be prevented. If we focus on community activities and public policies that prioritize prevention right from the start, we can work together to make sure child abuse and neglect never happens.