How You Can Build and Support Stronger Families

Posted on
04/07/2021
image of smiling kids and text "April is Child Abuse Prevention Month"


April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time for communities to come together to make sure that all children can grow up in the supportive, stable and nurturing environments they deserve.

In 2020 alone, more than 3,000 children were involved with Fairfax County Child Protective Services. 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, and we can all be a part of the solution.
 

Building Stronger Families Is a Community Responsibility

If this last year of pandemic living has shown us anything, it’s that all families need support.

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 to support families.

Children thrive when they have regular interactions with responsive, caring adults. These positive childhood experiences can help promote healthy brain development and build resilience in families! Unfortunately, neglect is the most reported form of child maltreatment, and it’s more likely in families who are overwhelmed with circumstances and experiencing an overload of stress. The most important thing we can do to help children thrive is to support families before they reach a crisis. 

Fairfax County continues to be a community that is absolutely dedicated to family health by providing for the safety of children and appropriate support to parents. The county’s child abuse prevention and early intervention programs are building stronger families that can provide safe and healthy childhoods and lead to creating a strong, thriving community.
 

How to Get Involved 

pinwheel garden and sign at Sherwood library, 2019Our website offers:

  • Community resources such as the Parent Support Line where staff can help with parenting advice, support and tips to help navigate emotional and relational parenting issues. Call 703-324-7720 or email BuildingStrongerFamilies@fairfaxcounty.gov, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

  • Information on how to support families by mentoring or volunteering with teens, being a safe and caring adult in a child’s life or providing encouragement to struggling parents.

  • Ways to raise awareness such as planting a pinwheel garden, #WearBlueDay on April 1, and spreading the word on social media.

 
Fairfax Virtual Assistant