Friday, August 14th, 2020

Keep children safe during Child Abuse Month

Posted: Thursday, April 9, 2020

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and now more than ever it is important that everyone knows how they are a vital part of child abuse prevention, and take an active role in keeping our children safe. The pandemic has had a major impact on every aspect of our lives with no clear end in sight.

Even families with strong support systems and coping skills have found themselves in uncharted territory of stress and uncertainty. Families who typically had the opportunity to have some distance through school and work, now find themselves together 24/7. This new normal has the potential of becoming very unsafe for children, especially if they were already in a high-risk situation.

Huntington is a very caring and supportive community and has great working partnerships in the effort to help protect children, but the Youth Services Bureau needs your help. Some may be saying “What can I do?”

The Youth Service Bureau has several suggestions: Be aware of the children around you, are they safe, are there signs of abuse or neglect? If so, in Indiana everyone is mandated to report anything that is suspected. To report a possible abuse or neglect, call (800) 800-5556. Be supportive to families who are struggling. Can you offer suggestions of activities? Or just talk to a stressed-out parent?  Can you provide resources the family may utilize?

For those that are struggling, reach out to others, talk to a friend or trained professional. We need to realize that children and youth are struggling with the pandemic and the changes it is having on their lives, as much as adults. We as adults need to take a step back and realize how uncertain and confusing this time is for a child/youth. Oftentimes this frustration comes out in ways of temper tantrums, defiance, crying, etc. As a parent, you need to help your child through this time, yes, while you are trying to understand it yourself.

The Youth Services Bureau has always been available to youth and families in crisis, however, we realize we need to really enhance what we can do during this very stressful time. The Youth Services Bureau is offering our support to families. We are making it easy, just call the YSB at (260) 356-9681, Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. After hours or on Fridays, call (260) 530-7676. If you just need to talk, need suggestions on how to keep your child entertained, resources, etc. just call. There is no cost to this and you do not need to be an existing client of the agency.

Sincerely,

Jan Williams
Executive Director
Youth Services Bureau of Huntington County