April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and Linn County Community Partnerships for Protecting Children (CPPC) is spreading the word about the importance of healthy family relationships to prevent child abuse and its negative long-term effects.
Children and families are our greatest natural resource. We all have a stake in preparing children to grow up to be healthy and thriving members of our communities.
Child abuse and neglect directly harms children and increases the likelihood of long-term physical and mental health problems, alcohol and substance abuse, continued family violence, and criminal behavior. Child abuse and neglect occur when people find themselves in stressful situations and don't know how to cope. The majority of child abuse cases stem from situations and conditions that are preventable in an engaged and caring community.
Each family is unique, but all parents and caregivers need support sometimes. We can all help by ensuring children have positive experiences, and families have the resources they need, when they need them. Children and families thrive when communities focus on addressing root causes that lead to health and social inequities.
Since 2008, blue pinwheels have served as the national symbol for great childhoods. You may see pinwheel “gardens” during the month of April signifying the safe and happy childhood that we want for all children.
Effective child abuse prevention programs succeed because of partnerships created among social service agencies, schools, faith communities, civic organizations, law enforcement agencies, the business community, and people like you.
The Linn County CPPC Team has approximately 150 members and meets monthly via Zoom. All community members, businesses, and families are welcome to join and/or attend these meetings. Each month, an educational presentation on support services for families and other timely parenting topics are provided.
In FY21, the Linn County CPPC Team was awarded a five-year, Iowa Child Abuse Prevention Program (ICAPP) grant to complete a strategic development plan, and provide a parent development/education program for families in Linn County with children ages 6 to 12. Previously, parent development/education programs were only available until the families’ youngest child turned 5 years of age.
Linn County CPPC developed a three-year strategic plan in FY22 that includes three strategic planning teams:
- Team 1 is working on establishing and implementing equitable and inclusive plans that empower all families.
- Team 2 is working on engaging the community in our mission through marketing and outreach.
- Team 3 is working on cultivating resources that develop, enhance, and sustain capacity.
Linn County CPPC has provided family support funding for families in need for rent and utilities to avoid eviction, and personal care products to the local high schools for students in need of hygiene products.
Linn County CPPC members quickly mobilize when they learn that a family has a need (without having any personal information on the family). Members have donated or found donations for furniture, clothing, transportation, and much more.
Prevent Child Abuse America
Prevent Child Abuse Iowa
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services