OPINION

Letters to the editor: Dallas County Coalitions recognize Child Abuse Prevention Month

Dallas County News

Dallas County Coalitions — Dallas County Children’s Advocacy Council, Community Partnership for Protecting Children and 4RKids, and Prevent Child Abuse Iowa — recognizes the importance of community-based support for all children and families during Child Abuse Prevention Month in April. The theme of this year’s awareness and impact campaign is “Growing a Better Tomorrow for All Children, Together.”  

Throughout CAP Month, Dallas County Coalitions and Prevent Child Abuse Iowa, are using the community garden metaphor to reinforce the message that “Every day, we help positive childhood experiences take root.” 

This is the second year that CAP Month has taken place during the COVID-19 pandemic. The coronavirus outbreak and its subsequent losses have changed the world permanently, and prevention professionals are still working to understand the pandemic’s repercussions for incidents of child abuse and neglect. 

The risk to our nation’s children for experiencing child abuse and neglect in times of extreme stress and uncertainty is quite high. COVID-19 has added stressors to the lives of parents and caregivers, such as loss of employment, loss of income due to lack of paid leave, school and business closings that necessitate new childcare and homeschool arrangements, and food insecurity. The social connections and community services and activities that serve as protective factors against child abuse and neglect may not exist in this extraordinary time of physical distancing.  

— Dallas County Coalitions