Tuskegee University recognizes April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month

April 14, 2022

Contact: Kawana McGough, Office of Communications, Public Relations and Marketing

Virtual conference flyer

Tuskegee University is taking a break to recognize April as Child Abuse Prevention Month. Throughout the month, the Tuskegee College of Arts and Sciences and Department of Social Work, faculty and students will join the community in increasing public awareness and prevention education as part of their commitment to the prevention of child abuse.

The COVID-19 pandemic has posed many challenges for families, including an increase in child abuse and neglect linked to many risk factors for maltreatment. Tuskegee offers opportunities to shine a light on awareness and prevention with a virtual conference. The theme, “Keeping Children and Families Safe: Trauma-Informed Practice Modalities for COVID 19 and Beyond!” encourages all individuals and organizations to make Macon County and your home city/state a better place for children and families by learning the protective factors to prevent and address child abuse and neglect. To register for the conference, CLICK HERE.

“By ensuring that parents have the knowledge, skills and resources they need to care for their children, we can help promote the social and emotional well-being of children and young people and prevent child abuse. child abuse within families and communities,” explained Dr. April Jones, Department Chair in Social Work.

Protective factors are the strengths and resources that families draw on during difficult times to protect themselves from the stresses of life. Research shows that when parents are aware of protective factors, the risk of neglect and abuse is reduced, and optimal outcomes for children, youth and families are promoted. Key protective factors include knowledge of parenting, knowledge of child development, parental resilience, social connections, and concrete supports. Social workers and other professionals provide parents with knowledge and skills through practice modalities that sensitize them to child protection through trauma-informed education and training for healthy and strong families.

“I invite all parents, teachers, healthcare professionals, counselors, psychologists, clergy, social workers and community members to join the virtual conference to learn more about practice modalities that can improve your knowledge and skills to prevent child abuse and neglect,” Jones explained. . “Clients and practitioners have become more aware of the importance of trauma-informed care and prevention.”

Jones says the conference brings its attendees a variety of topics such as ethical practice, communicating with children, grief/loss, adoption, therapeutic parenting, and the use of technology and safety in child protection practice. Participants will leave feeling empowered and knowing what a healthy environment is and when it is time to seek help to prevent child abuse and neglect.

Assistant Instructor Dekara Daniels, LMSW, who teaches the Child and Family Social Work course, reiterates the importance of education for professionals and students: “As a former childhood and current educator, it is essential that professionals know how to support families and the appropriate practice modalities for each client or family situation.

During the course, undergraduate students learn the importance of connecting families with providers and community resources to create a healthier and safer environment so that the child(ren) can stay or return home.

“The most important lesson that students take away from this course is that the safety of the child is the top priority and that children belong to their families,” Daniels explained. “At the end of this course, students report having a different perspective of child protective services and often develop an interest.”

The virtual conference will be held on April 29, 2022, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CST via the conference site https://tuskegee.elevate.commpartners.com/vchome. Those interested in participating should register as a non-member on the website. This year’s conference includes a dynamic “voice” moderation of the conference with Spencer Croft, bringing an interactive virtual experience to life.

In support of these efforts, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Bureau for Children, Bureau of Child Abuse and Neglect, in conjunction with Child Welfare Information Gateway and the FRIENDS National Resource Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention have developed the 2021/2022 Prevention Resource Guide, visit the National Child Abuse Prevention Month website for additional information and resources. To learn more about Tuskegee University’s Department of Social Work, visit www.tuskegee.edu/socialwork.

© 2022 Tuskegee University

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