Thursday, July 29th, 2021

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

Posted: Thursday, April 8, 2021

The Huntington County Department of Child Services, Youth Services Bureau of Huntington County (YSB), the Prevention of Child Abuse Council organized by SCAN, and various social service agencies and departments share some important information pertaining to child abuse and neglect in Huntington County.

“During the week of April 12 to 16, blue pinwheels will be displayed throughout Huntington County as a reminder to us all that all children deserve to have safe, healthy childhoods,” stated, Kerri Baker, Department of Child Services (DCS).  Huntington University will be hosting a Child Abuse Prevention Walk on Saturday April 24 from 12 to 2 p.m. For more information on the Walk contact Emily Strunke at strunke@huntington.edu.

It is important that the community know the warning signs and risk factors of child abuse so our most vulnerable citizens can grow up happy and healthy without being victims of abuse and neglect.

Common risk factors that lead to a higher incidence of abuse or neglect within a family unit include but not limited to: financial stressors; drug and alcohol use; untreated mental health issues; families that lack a strong support system, such as family and friends; families that lack the knowledge of resources to meet their family’s need. Often times, but not always, children will display signs of abuse or neglect. Some of the signs may include but not limited to: physical signs such as bruising, broken bones, etc. A change in behavior such as being withdrawn or emotional, a change in their grades and/or involvement with school activities; increased aggression or violent behaviors or the use of drugs and/or alcohol.

“Child abuse prevention is everyone’s responsibility, not only during April but throughout the year,” said Jan Williams, executive director YSB. To learn more about child abuse prevention contact the Huntington County Department of Child Services at (260) 356-4420. Contact the Indiana Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at (800) 800-5556 to report any type of abuse. Indiana is a mandatory reporting state and it is everyone’s responsibility to report any alleged abuse or neglect.