The county’s Child Abuse Prevention efforts seek to Build Stronger Families that can provide safe and healthy childhoods and lead to creating a strong, thriving community.
Children’s lives can be positively changed and even saved by active and aware community members making that critically important decision to ask more questions and offer help. Many situations and conditions are preventable once community programs and systems are engaged.
In Fairfax County alone, last year 3,031 children were involved with Child Protective Services – that would fill 56 school buses. Child abuse and neglect cuts across all demographic areas and impacts our entire community. We know through research that adverse childhood experiences like child abuse result in long term health impacts and increased costs to society. Child abuse and neglect affects us all.
This year’s theme for Child Abuse Prevention Month is Building Stronger Families: The Teen Years. Nearly 50% of children in foster care in Fairfax County during FY 2019 were above 14 years old. The effort to prevent abuse & neglect of teens starts with understanding internet safety, positive discipline techniques, setting consistent family rules and boundaries, and attentiveness to significant changes in a teenager’s behavior and attitude.
Fairfax County continues to be a community that is absolutely dedicated to the safety of children and to providing the appropriate supports to parents to keep families healthy. April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, so read on to learn about county resources, and check out our community engagement toolkit for ways you can share the message!