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April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

This month, and throughout the year, we encourage all individuals and organizations to play a role in making Pagosa Springs a better place for families. By ensuring that parents have the support, skills and resources they need to care for their children, we can help prevent child abuse and neglect by strengthening families and communities.

Research shows that five important factors are present in healthy families. Promoting these factors is among the most effective ways to reduce the risk of child abuse and neglect. They are:

• Nurturing and attachment.

• Knowledge of parenting and of child and youth development.

• Parental resilience.

• Social connections.

• Concrete supports for parents.

April is a time to celebrate the important role that communities play in protecting children. It truly does take a village to raise a child.

Focusing on ways to promote the five protective factors, in every interaction with families, is the best thing our community can do to strengthen families and prevent child abuse and neglect.

During this last year, community agencies, faith-based organizations, schools, parents and individuals have come together in an atmosphere of collaboration that is inspiring. Please get involved with families, volunteer for schools, youth organizations, help a neighbor, ask for help. Show up at the skate park, the Youth Center, become a Dad on Guard, join parenting classes and workshops. Recognize violence in your life and how you can stop it.

Wearing the blue ribbon shows support for families and children and those that assist them. Look for blue ribbons around our community and feel free to display them as we all take ownership of the safety of our children.

For more information about parenting support and resources and how you can be involved, call Lily Tarbet RN, Nurturing Parenting Program trainer/consultant, at 264-6445, Pagosa Springs Nurturing Parenting Center LLC.

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