April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month—a good time to look at child abuse and neglect in Colorado. The statistics are shocking: Last year, the Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline 1-844-CO-4-KIDS (1-844-264-5437) received a record number of calls (221,969), and local county social services agencies assessed the safety of more than 57,042 children. Of those children, 13,289 experienced abuse or neglect.
While most children survive abuse and neglect, the legacy is often devastating, frequently leading to lifelong struggles. National Child Abuse Prevention Month is a time to acknowledge the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse and neglect and to promote the social and emotional well-being of children and families. During the month of April, communities are encouraged to share child abuse and neglect prevention awareness strategies and activities, as well as promote prevention across the country.
Our children deserve the brightest future we can give them, and Invest in Kids brings two proven programs that strengthen Colorado families and help prevent child abuse and neglect: The Incredible Years® and Nurse-Family Partnership®.
The Incredible Years’ prevention programs increase a child’s success at school and at home by promoting positive parent, teacher and child relationships. It also is recognized as having a positive impact for curbing child abuse. A recent study found that “The Incredible Years program is well-established as an intervention to help parents reduce harsh/critical parenting, increase parent discipline effectiveness, and improve positive/supportive/responsive parenting, each of which has been tied to children’s social and behavioral development.”
The Nurse-Family Partnership is a relationship-based program that partners highly-trained professional nurses with vulnerable first-time mothers and their babies. The program transforms lives through improved pregnancy outcomes, promotion of child health and development, and the encouragement of economic self-sufficiency for families. In national medical and scientific journals, Nurse-Family Partnership is most often cited as the most effective intervention to prevent child abuse and neglect.