April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

Prevention is a shared responsibility within communities

Child abuse is a huge problem not just nationally but right here in Santa Barbara County.

April marks Child Abuse Prevention Month.

According to Family Service Agency, there were more than 4800 referrals to child welfare services within the county in 2013.

1/4 of all those referrals meet the definition of child abuse and neglect.

Prevention is a shared responsibility as everyone has a role in building protective factors that can prevent child abuse and neglect.

You can help build a parent's resilience by doing simple things such as offering encouragement and listening to them without judgement.

"I think ultimately we all need help from time to time," said Ashleigh Erving, the Family Support Services Program Manager at Family Service Agency and also on the Child Abuse Prevention Council.  "By having those connections and a social support system within your community and within your neighborhood, it opens the door to reach out when help's needed."

The Santa Barbara County Department of Social Services and the Child Abuse Prevention Council are asking everyone to wear blue on Friday to raise awareness.

CALM in Santa Maria is hosting "Ladies Get Loud" on April 3 and are having an open house on April 10 in recognition of National Child Abuse Prevention Month.  You can find more information on those events online.

For more information on child abuse, go to this website.

Link to Video from the  Harvard Center on the Developing Child:

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