Child Abuse Prevention Month
April has been declared by the President to be "Child Abuse Prevention Month". This offers all our parishes, schools, and religious education programs an excellent opportunity to offer parents and other parishioners information about how to keep children safe from any kind of abuse.
Promoting this event is a major initiative of the Office of Child and Youth Protection of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and many other dioceses are joining them in spreading the word.
There are many resources available to promote the message of child safety. Consider using some of the following to raise awareness of child abuse, and to educate people on how to prevent and respond to it:
- A Liturgy Resource Guide from the Office of Child and Youth Protection of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. This document contains suggestions for bulletin blurbs and intercessions for the Prayers of the Faithful.
- An extensive list of suggested bulletin blurbs that can be used in Child Abuse Prevention Month or throughout the year.
- Materials developed by our Office for parents and children -- posters, a comic book and a coloring book -- that can be used to educate them about child abuse and how to prevent it.
- An overview of the Five Protective Factors that increase the health and well-being of children and families, from the Administration for Children and Families of the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
- Links to child protection resources from many public and private agencies.
We also encourage parishes to place an announcement in their bulletin, to raise awareness of Child Abuse Prevention Month. Here's a sample:
April has been declared to be "Child Abuse Prevention Month". There are many ways we can prevent and respond to risks to the safety and well-being of our children. Some child protection resources can be found on the Archdiocesan Safe Environment Office website: http://www.archny.org/pastoral/safe-environment-program/child-abuse-prevention-month/.