Child abuse prevention resources for early childhood professionals and families

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, raising awareness of the importance of resources and services to help families and communities work together to prevent child abuse and neglect.

According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, “The single most important thing we can do is support families all year long in ways that promote and build upon their strengths and enable them to care for their children safely before maltreatment is even a possibility.”

Many non-profit organizations and services providers work hard to provide these necessary supports to prevent child abuse, protect children from the risk of child abuse and promote healthy family environments.

Here are some resources that families and early childhood professionals may find useful in April and year-round:

Birth to Five Helpline | 877-705-KIDS (5437)

Southwest Human Development’s Birth to Five Helpline is a free service open to all Arizona families with young children looking for support and guidance from experts in the field. The Birth to Five Helpline can also be utilized by child care providers, preschool providers, quality improvement specialists or any professionals who works with young children ages birth to 5 and are looking for consultation or resource information. The Helpline can be a critical resource for families facing any challenge. Bilingual experts can help with a variety of topics such as sleep, challenging behaviors, potty learning/training, health and nutrition, feeding and eating, fussiness/colic, community resources and more. Call or text 877-705-KIDS (5437) for free child development support.

Healthy Families

Healthy Families is a free and voluntary program that can help pregnant moms, expectant families and parents of newborns meet the challenges of parenting. Healthy Families is part of a national program to support parents during the first few years of their child’s life to help children have a happy and healthy start. The program can begin working with Arizona families during pregnancy and will stay by their side through the crucial first five years of a child’s life. A family support specialist can conduct home visits to provide support and information to become the best parent for their child.

Child Crisis Arizona

Child Crisis Arizona’s mission is to provide a safe environment for Arizona children by creating strong and successful families. The organization offers a variety of programs and services, including an Emergency Children’s Shelter, early education services, free parenting workshops and classes, specialized counseling for children and virtual parent support groups.

Child Welfare Information Gateway

The Child Welfare Information Gateway is a service that promotes the safety and well-being of children by connecting families and early childhood professionals with information, resources and tools focused on child welfare, child abuse and neglect, child care, adoption and more. The service provides print and online publications, websites, databases and online training tools for improving child welfare practice. The Child Welfare Information Gateway provides a Resource Guide, which outlines actions that we all — as members of our society, communities, organizations and families — members can take to prevent child abuse.

Prevent Child Abuse America

Prevent Child Abuse America promotes research-based programs and resources for families and early childhood professionals. Their nationwide network of state chapters and Healthy Families America home visiting sites provide parents and caregivers a wide variety of services and resources. Online, their website’s resources page offers videos, toolkits, guides and parenting tips to help create stronger families and communities.

To report suspected child abuse, neglect, exploitation or abandonment, call 1-888-SOS-CHILD

All content in this article, including any advice or commentary from Southwest Human Development staff and/or others, should be considered an opinion and is provided for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for medical or other professional advice, diagnosis or treatment.  Always seek the direct advice of your own trusted professional with any questions or concerns you may have regarding the child/ren in your care.  Southwest Human Development does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, products, procedures or other information that may be mentioned in this article.  You may contact Southwest Human Development’s Birth to Five Helpline at 1-877-705-KIDS (5437) to speak with one of our early childhood professionals for personalized assistance.  Birth to Five Helpline specialists are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.