April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month (CAP Month), a national campaign with a focus on local-level advocacy through statewide initiatives. In North Carolina, Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina (PCANC) leads the statewide CAP Month Campaign with the belief that April is a time for all communities to come together to build caring connections, supportive environments, and positive experiences for all children.

That belief is more vital than ever as families still grapple with the challenges inflicted by COVID-19 and ongoing social injustice. We know that times of crises puts families under great stress and can lead to significant increases in the risk of child maltreatment.

But we also know that child maltreatment is a preventable, solvable problem. Science shows us that the prevalence of Protective Factors in families and communities helps strengthen families and reduce the risk of child maltreatment and positive connections help building healthy brains, sturdy foundations, social connections, and resilience at any age.

That’s why we’re focusing CAP Month 2021 on amplifying the ways in which we all can support children and families.

Here are a few ways you can be a connection during Child Abuse Prevention Month:
*You can find tools and resources to support your efforts in all of these activities below by visiting our Child Abuse Prevention Month 2021 Online Toolkit.

  1. Participate in Wear Blue Day on Thursday, April 1
    Wear blue, take a photo, and share on social media with the hashtags: #WearBlueDay2021 & #BeAConnection
  2. Participate in the #BeAConnection Campaign April 11-17th
    To participate, download a #BeAConnection signand talking points. Then, take a video or photo sharing your story of the power of connection. You can share a story about someone who was a positive connection and helped you over come tough times by simply being there for you. Or, share a story about a program, policy, or service in your community that supported you and your family in times of need. Share your video or photo on social media with the hashtag: #BeAConnection any day the week of April 11th -17th.
  3. Download our CAPM Social Media Calendar
    Share graphics and pre-written posts from our CAPM Social Media Calendar on your social media channels. Update your cover photos and website banners to recognize CAP Month. Be sure to check out our Facebook Profile Frame and the Pinwheel Selfie Frame, too. All of these tools can be found in the Child Abuse Prevention Month Online Toolkit under the “CAPM 2021 Social Media Toolkit” dropdown.
  4. Participate in National Child Abuse Prevention Digital Advocacy Day
    Let’s make sure that our lawmakers at home and in Washington, DC, know we believe in family-friendly policies and programs that benefit children and their caregivers. Use hashtags: #CAPMonth #BeAConnection and more. Learn more about PCANC’s Policy Priorities and stay tuned to our social media for more info.
  5. Host a Connected Communities, Connected Congregations Children’s Sabbath Celebration
    Connections Matter in NC faith communities. Plan a Children’s Sabbath Celebration and learn how the everyday connections you make help prevent child maltreatment.
  6. Change your Zoom Background
    Get the downloadable graphic from our Child Abuse Prevention Month Online Toolkit under the “Proclamations & Other Resources” drop down.
  7. Visit our Covid-19 Resources for Families, Communities & Agencies
    In partnership with NC Department of Health and Human Services, we developed a COVID-19 Parent & Caregiver Guide with an accompanying COVID-19 Social Media Toolkit for agencies across the state to share resources with parents.
  8. Take a Free Online Training on Preventing Child Maltreatment
    There are two self-guided trainings: What is Prevention? and Recognizing & Responding to Suspicions of Child Maltreatment. PCANC provides these courses, to North Carolina citizens free of charge through support from the North Carolina Division of Social Services and the generosity of our supporters.
  9. Get Your Kids First License Plate
    The Kids First license plate was created to directly benefit The North Carolina Children’s Trust Fund (NC CTF) which helps strengthen families and communities by providing funds for programs that strengthen NC families. Kids First license plate sales help bring evidence-based family strengthening programs to more families and communities.
  10. Learn about North Carolina’s Mandatory Reporting and Safe Surrender Laws
    All North Carolina adults are required by law to report suspected child maltreatment. North Carolina’s Safe Surrender Law allows a parent to leave their infant (up to 7 days old) with any responsible adult, legally and anonymously.

For more information about Child Abuse Prevention Month, contact PCANC Communications Manager Kris Demers at kdemers@preventchildabusenc.org.