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C.A.R.E./The John 3:16 Center along with Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina recognizes the importance of caring connections, supportive environments, and positive experiences for all children and families during Child Abuse Prevention Month in April. 

The center believes that all in the community have a stake in prioritizing equal opportunities for every child from all communities in each corner of the state to build a more prosperous future.

April marks the third year CAP Month occurs during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We know that times of crisis put families under great stress and can lead to significant increases in the risk of child maltreatment,” said Shannon McAllister, executive director of the center. “COVID-19 adds stress that can overload parents and caregivers, such as loss of employment, loss of income due to lack of paid leave, the necessity of new child care and schooling arrangements, and food insecurity.”

McAllister said, “Too often, our society thinks of raising healthy children as a parent or caregiver’s responsibility alone. Though parents have responsibility, we all benefit when we work together to lessen the load of stress placed on families.”

While children and families have been facing unprecedented stress during the pandemic, “We know child maltreatment is preventable. There are programs, strategies, and policies that are proven to strengthen families so they can address their basic needs and better care for their children.”

Shannon Hirsch, president and CEO of PCANC said, “Research shows that positive childhood experiences and caring connections grow thriving families and communities. While every season is a new opportunity to build sturdy foundations for children, this Child Abuse Prevention Month is an opportunity to redefine how our policies, systems, and communities propel children into becoming healthy, thriving members of their community, and reaching their full potential. Please join us in prioritizing safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments for children, allowing families and entire communities to succeed – today and for generations to come.” 

PCANC recommends the following ways that North Carolinians can be a connection and make an impact during this year’s CAP Month:  

Wear blue on Friday, April 1, Wear Blue Day, to show support for children and families. Post a photo or video on social media and include the #WearBlueDay2022 and #BeAConnection hashtags.

Tell Your #BeAConnection Story to help amplify the ways in which all adults can help children and families thrive. 

To participate, record a short video completing the prompt: “April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and I can #BeAConnection by ____________.” Share the video (or photo) on social media with the hashtag #BeAConnection. Learn more at www.preventchildabusenc.org.

Learn How We All Can Prevent Child Maltreatment, Together, register for PCANC’s free webinar “Ensuring Strong Foundations for Children | Learn the Basics & Take Action” on April 20.

Participate in Digital Advocacy Day on Wednesday, April 27 and let your representatives know you support family-friendly policies, such as paid sick and family leave, that help reduce stress on parents and caregivers.

Sign up for PCANC’s Policy Action Alerts to advocate throughout the year.

Host a Children’s Sabbath Celebration in your faith community.

Celebrate early learning, young children, their teachers, families, and communities during Week of the Young Child April 2-8

Inspire adults to take action to prevent child sexual abuse by participating in the Five Days of Action the week of April 18-22

Follow PCANC on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram to share our posts throughout April and join the conversation using the hashtags #BeAConnection, #GrowingBetterTogether and #CAPMonth.

Sign up for PCANC’s newsletter to stay in the know on how you can help children thrive.

Make a tax-deductible donation to PCANC or contribute to a child serving organization in your community like the John 3:16 Center.

For more ways to get involved in CAP Month and to download the toolkit with new customized resources for school counselors, faith communities and early care and education providers visit www.preventchildabusenc.org