December 3, 2023


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As Child Abuse Prevention month draws to a close, DFS wants families to know words matter | Fairfax County

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In the past yr, one in 7 little ones in the U.S. has knowledgeable kid abuse or neglect in accordance to the Facilities for Ailment Regulate and Prevention (CDC). In Fairfax, extra than 2,600 youngsters had been included with Little one Protecting Products and services in 2021. 

On March 22, the Board of Supervisors officially identified April as Baby Abuse Avoidance Month. 

Supervisors Dalia Palchik and Rodney Lusk sponsored the proclamation for Fairfax County’s Department of Family Products and services in an energy to raise awareness for Little one Abuse Avoidance Month. 

The Office of Loved ones Companies, which seeks to construct much better families for small children in purchase to reduce youngster abuse, selected the concept “Words Matter” for this year’s problem for Boy or girl Abuse Avoidance Thirty day period. 

“We truly preferred to concentration on boosting recognition about the affect that dad and mom and caregivers have when they’re speaking to their youngsters each individual day,” claimed Angela Morlu, a communications specialist for the Office of Spouse and children Products and services. “The words and phrases make a difference problem, the concept is genuinely just about advertising procedures and traits — intentional encouragement among parents — so that they can be their children’s cheerleaders.” 

To help mom and dad get commenced, the division compiled a listing of affirmations for dad and mom to “be their children’s most important champions.” The record consists of phrases like “I like you,” or “I feel in you.” 

According to the website, these affirmations are means that mother and father can exhibit their small children that they enjoy them, enable motivate them, and deliver them with help all through hard occasions. 

Morlu said the obstacle was inspired by what the department observed throughout the pandemic. 

“Everyone understands parenting is tricky. It can be difficult at situations, but the pandemic genuinely made some extra stressors on people as they skilled social isolation,” she reported. 

In 2021, Fairfax County’s Little one Protective Services’ 24-hour hotline obtained about 11,000 phone calls for protecting solutions, nevertheless, they also been given phone calls from individuals searching for assistance and referrals to parenting packages and assist solutions. 

The Office of Relatives Products and services has several packages out there for mother and father in will need of psychological aid who want to learn how to increase balanced associations with their kids. These systems are a component of the department’s early intervention solutions that are aimed at stopping boy or girl abuse just before it happens. 

According to their web page, 81 per cent of parents who full a parenting training course display enhanced parenting and child-rearing attitudes. The section measures this applying the Adult Adolescent Parenting Stock (AAPI-2) to perform a pre and publish-test on mother and father collaborating in the application, Morlu discussed.

There are a few ranges to the programs and expert services available by the department: most important, secondary, and tertiary. The principal avoidance solutions are for the common population with secondary staying for households at higher threat. 

The tertiary prevention services are enacted when kid abuse or neglect has currently occurred. These packages are typically presented by Boy or girl Protecting Providers, Defense and Preservation Products and services, or Foster Treatment and Adoption Plans. 

The office also partnered with a local girl scout troop to put up pinwheel gardens all over Fairfax. “I imagine which is also helped raise consciousness close to the neighborhood about Baby Abuse Prevention Thirty day period,” reported Morlu. The pinwheels have been put in the course of the county at neighborhood facilities, county properties, and libraries. The Fairfax County Police Division also helped put up pinwheels.

“So, it’s seriously been a group work,” she claimed. 

To shut out Boy or girl Abuse Prevention Month, the section is sponsoring the 12th yearly Fairfax Operate For The Kids marathon that is hosted by Fairfax Courtroom Appointed Distinctive Advocates (CASA).

The marathon is using spot at 8 a.m. on April 30 at the Fairfax County Courthouse complex.

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