April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, which marks a time when Nebraska Children and Families Foundation reaffirms our commitment to prevention. As we work toward a thriving Nebraska, we and our community partners strengthen families by preventing problems before they start.
As the home of Prevent Child Abuse Nebraska (PCAN), Nebraska Children is dedicated to living out our mission to create positive change for children and families through community engagement.
Functioning as the national umbrella, Prevent Child Abuse America is the nation’s oldest and largest organization dedicated to the primary prevention of child abuse and neglect. Naturally, we’re honored to house the Nebraskan chapter of this important work.
Furthermore, we’re glad that the Nebraska Child Abuse Prevention Fund Board (NCAPF) shares our view. NCAPF sponsors prevention activities throughout the year. We’re glad to partner with this organization along with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services and other partners in Bring Up Nebraska, so all families have the resources to thrive.
Comprised of a series of community collaboratives, Bring Up Nebraska rallies a statewide network of organizations, businesses, and people to build community well-being.
That said, we must create community well-being from the ground up. For children and families to thrive, we must address housing, childcare, quality afterschool programs, mental health issues, and more, all of which our collaboratives continue to create.
In this spirit, Bring Up Nebraska partners encourage you to become involved in your local community collaboratives. If you’ve ever wondered what you can do to help, you can become a part of these collaboratives that work at the frontlines to strengthen families.
Our resident expert agrees.
“Now more than ever, we need to band together in collective ways that help our families and children thrive. Too often, our society thinks of raising healthy children as a parent or caregiver’s responsibility alone,” said Kathy Stokes, Nebraska Children Associate Vice President of Prevention Research and Practices.
“In reality, we all benefit when people work together to collectively care for children, youth, and families,” said Kathy.
Other experts concur, as well.
“Research shows that positive childhood experiences grow thriving families and communities,” explained Dr. Melissa Merrick, President and CEO of Prevent Child Abuse America (PCAA).
“This is the moment to build a child and family well-being system that propels families to grow and thrive together,” said Dr. Merrick.
“Please consider joining us to ensure safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments are cultivated to enable children, families, and entire communities to succeed – today and for generations to come,” she said.
Thanks to our Bring Up Nebraska prevention partnership, our great state is recognized as leading the charge for family and children’s well-being. Throughout Nebraska, all 22 of our community collaboratives continue to create policies and services that support their communities.
Without these essential services, parents may struggle to show up as the best version of themselves, especially during stressful times.
If you or anyone you know is facing challenges, visit BringUpNebraska.org and connect with the community collaborative in your area.
You can contribute to your families, children, and communities in the following ways:
- Support your local community collaborative and encourage others to do the same
- Tell anyone feeling overwhelmed to reach out to their local collaborative to connect to resources and support
- Encourage sharing stories about how we take small but impactful steps to support children and families in our communities
- Contact your elected officials and urge them to support programs that promote safe, healthy childhoods and family-friendly policies such as paid family leave and earned income tax credits
- Follow Nebraska Children on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and share our posts widely—and encourage your friends and family to do the same. Use the hashtags #BringUpNebraska and #CAPMonth to let us know you’re committed to helping children, families, and entire communities to thrive
For more suggestions from the Bring Up Nebraska partners on how you can support children and families in your community, go to BringUpNebraska.org.
Another great resource is the 2021/2022 Prevention Resource Guide. This guide is for anyone who does good work to strengthen families in communities. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Administration for Children and Families, the Administration on Children, and the Youth and Families and Children’s Bureau are responsible for this indispensable resource.
A few examples of Child Abuse Prevention Month events in Nebraska:
- Community collaboratives and other partners displayed over 22,000 blue pinwheels to symbolize the great childhoods that all kids deserve and shared information and resources to promote healthy families. One of those pinwheel gardens was planted at the Nebraska Governor’s Residence in Lincoln
- Governor Pete Ricketts declared April as Child Abuse Prevention Month in Nebraska in a signing ceremony at the State Capitol on April 4
- Mayoral Proclamation, Friday, April 1, North Platte
- Wear Blue Day every Friday in April
- Pinwheel planting at Courthouse with Guardians of the Children
Columbus Area Child Abuse Prevention Council and Community and Family Partnership
- Blue quart jars with pinwheel bouquets distributed to local businesses and service providers, April 1
- Wear Blue Day, April 8, with a prize for the most creative Facebook post
- Diaper changing pads with information on child development for parents of all infants born at the hospital in April
- Bikers and Bobbers event, April 2, hosted with Guardians of the Children
- Distribution of bags with products and information at YMCA Healthy Kids Day, April 30
Sandhills Community Collaborative with Loup City Sixpence
- Kids Fair with meal and prizes, April 2, Loup City
Dawson County Family Partners
- Healthy Kids Night, April 29, Lexington. Distribution of baby care items.
Growing Community Connections
- Child Abuse Prevention Proclamation at South Sioux City Council meeting, April 11
Community Impact Network of Adams, Clay, Nuckolls, Webster
- Reusable grocery bags with products and activities provided to CASA families in April
- Diaper changing pads distributed through childcare programs
Fremont Family Coalition
- Party in the Park with distribution of materials, April 2
- Dodge County Board of Supervisors proclamation of April 2-8 as Week of the Young Child
As an organization dedicated to helping families thrive, thanks to your support, these efforts are only the beginning. As a public-private nonprofit, we can’t emphasize enough how much we appreciate supporters like you. Give your gift today.