Clarke County Hospital Recognizes April as Child Abuse Awareness Month

Clarke County Hospital is dedicated to providing excellent, compassionate and personalized care to the people of South Central Iowa. As part of our mission, we are committed to providing the care and resources needed to ensure that children, families and our communities are safe and healthy.

April is National Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month. This month and throughout the year, Clarke County Hospital encourages all individuals and organizations to play a role in making local communities better places for children and families. By ensuring that parents have the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to care for their children, we can help prevent child abuse and neglect by creating strong and thriving children, youth, and families in our own backyard. Research shows that protective factors are present in healthy families. Protective factors are conditions or attributes of individuals, families, communities, or the larger society that mitigate risk and promote healthy development and wellbeing. Promoting the following protective factors is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of child abuse and neglect:

• Nurturing and attachment

• Knowledge of parenting and of child and youth development

• Parental resilience

• Social connections

• Concrete supports for parents

• Social and emotional competence of children

Clarke County Hospital collaborated with the Clarke County Child Abuse Prevention Council to display pinwheel coloring sheets, colored by local elementary students, up and down the halls of our facility. The goal is to bring attention to and raise awareness of child abuse and neglect while promoting the importance of healthy children, strong families and thriving communities.

April is a time to celebrate the important role that communities play in protecting children and strengthening families. Everyone's participation is critical. Focusing on ways to connect with families is the best thing our community can do to strengthen families and prevent child abuse and neglect.