New Hampshire Children’s Trust encourages people across the state to participate in this year’s National Child Abuse Prevention Month by sharing their talents and time to help create better, brighter futures for children and families. Even the smallest steps can make a big difference in a child’s life–and a parent’s as well.
“Everyone wants to provide and nurture their child in a positive, healthy environment, but parents, grandparents, and relatives raising children need support every now and then,” said Bronwyn Barnett, Executive Director at New Hampshire Children’s Trust. “That’s why we’re asking people to proactively engage in their local community—whether it’s by making a meal for a busy neighbor with kids, running an errand for a grandfamily, or by setting up a playdate with a kinship caregiver to provide social support and connection.
In a national survey, 94% of parents said they needed help of some kind; 86% said they would be grateful for services, childcare or other support. However, in a separate study, fewer than 20% of parents said they would actually seek help.
“While our goal is to help create great childhoods for all children, it’s important that parents get the support they need in order to do so,” explained Prevent Child Abuse America President and CEO Dan Duffy. “Despite the best intentions, parenting can be challenging. We want to help people understand that it’s possible to do the things they love—cooking, making art or music, reading, or playing sports—and, at the same time, help families and their community thrive.”
Suggestions from Prevent Child Abuse America to make a difference in a child’s life and help support parents while doing what you love include:
Volunteer for an after-school reading program or book club—you’ll help kids meet new friends and spark their imaginations, too.
Give a new mom or dad a break by bringing over dinner, offering to run an errand, or babysitting.
Coach a youth sports team to teach kids the value of teamwork—they’ll learn how to trust teammates and themselves.
Host a kid-friendly BBQ or organize a block party so parents can socialize without the stress of finding a sitter—social connections with other parents help to establish a strong support network.
Contact your elected officials and urge them to support policies and programs that promote safe healthy childhoods.
“We all share a responsibility for the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of children and their families—whatever the definition of that family might be,” added Barnett. “Connecting with your community in a way that makes sense for you and your neighbors is a great place to start. Go outside your comfort zone and reach out—you might be surprised at the difference you can make.”
About New Hampshire Children’s Trust
New Hampshire Children’s Trust is the Governor’s designated statewide community-based child abuse prevention agency and the New Hampshire chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America. New Hampshire Children’s Trust’s mission is to ensure safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments for children by educating, advocating, and collaborating. Visit nhchildrenstrust.org to learn more.
About Prevent Child Abuse America
Founded in 1972, Prevent Child Abuse America is a national organization with chapters in all 50 states and nearly 600 Healthy Families America home visitation sites throughout the country. It promotes services that improve child well-being and develops programs that help to prevent all types of abuse and neglect. Ninety-four cents of every dollar spent goes directly into programs and services, which is why it is rated as one of the top charities for children by Consumer Reports and charity oversight organizations, including: Charity Navigator, Great Nonprofits and GuideStar. Visit preventchildabuse.org to learn more.