(Richard Johnston, GRANDfamilies Director and Alyssa Craven, GRANDfamilies Assistant Director on ABC4 4/1/2022)
Celebrate #FamilyStrengtheningMonth in April with CSSUtah!
Children’s Service Society will join parents, caregivers, and other non-profits across Utah celebrating #FamilyStrenghteningMonth in April to highlight protective factors helping to prevent child abuse in our community.
Since 1983, April has been recognized as Child Abuse Prevention Month. This year, April will still focus on child abuse prevention, but with a positive spin as “Family Strengthening Month.” Local child welfare and social service agencies made the change to focus on what partners, and parents are doing right to strengthen families and build protective factors for our children.
The Utah Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS) was one of the agencies leading the change. “When we care about the safety of children, then we must equally care about the well-being of the adults in those children’s lives. I love the new focus on family strengthening in April” said Diane Moore, Director of DCFS. “When parents have what they need to live healthy, productive, and economically stable lives, child safety is almost always concurrently achieved.”
DCFS helps keep children safe from abuse and neglect while working with community partners like Children’s Service Society (CSS) to strengthen families. CSS is recognized as Utah’s oldest non-profit working to empower families, caregivers, and professionals through services supporting the safety and well-being of children, since 1884. Specifically, the CSS GRANDfamilies program works with kinship families who are raising a relative’s child. Participants receive free support through support groups, case management, legal and financial resources, and a focus on permanency for at-risk youth.
On April 18th, CSS GRANDfamilies will be hosting a virtual planting event to celebrate Family Strengthening Month, among other activities in addition to the regular services provided throughout the year. The community is invited to join CSS online to plant flowers and learn about child abuse prevention. To receive the link, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP. “Just like plants need good soil to grow, positive childhood experiences in nurturing environments provide fertile ground for families to flourish” (Prevent Child Abuse America).
You can learn more by following @CSSUtah on Facebook and Instagram to receive information like the five protective factors helping our children thrive, support services offered by CSS to promote strong families, and activities to try at home with your littles. Be sure to tag @CSSUtah to share how your family is celebrating throughout April, and use #FamilyStrengtheningMonth to show support!