Dear Editor:


Dallas County Coalitions (Dallas County Children’s Advocacy Council, Generation Wellness Coalition, Community Partnership for Protecting Children and 4RKids) along with Prevent Child Abuse Iowa are again joining communities across the State in celebrating the importance of family and community connections; working to strengthen social-wellbeing during Child Abuse Prevention Month in April. Agencies and individuals are encouraged to know the warning signs of children’s mental health issues in order to support community efforts to improve mental health development for children.


Mental health is connected to social, emotional, and cognitive development and it is a foundation for a healthy life, healthy community, and healthy State. When children’s mental health needs are met, they are more likely to do better in school/college, in the workforce and more likely to be healthy, productive adults in our community.


Child abuse (emotional, physical and sexual) and neglect are a serious problem affecting every segment of our community, and finding solutions requires input and action from everyone. Abuse can have long-term psychological, emotional, and physical effects that have lasting consequences.


However, there is hope!! Protective factors are conditions that reduce or eliminate risk and promote the social, emotional, and developmental well-being of children.


Communities must make every effort to promote programs and activities that build strong and thriving children and families.


The presence of one caring relationship in a child’s life diminishes negative outcomes and reduces risk factors – resulting in better cognitive health, emotional health, mental health, and physical health for a child.


You can also join Dallas County Coalitions and Prevent Child Abuse Iowa in celebrating April being Child Abuse Prevention Month. Together we can give children the foundation they need to reach their full potential and as a result, build a community that is safer, healthier and more prosperous overall!


Thank you!


Respectfully,


Dallas County Coalitions