Chatham County Encourages Community Involvement to Prevent Child Abuse

Pittsboro, NC – On March 21, 2022, the Chatham County Board of Commissioners proclaimed April as Child Abuse Prevention Month. The Chatham County Department of Social Services is drawing attention to this issue which is having a huge impact on the lives of the county’s most vulnerable residents – its children. This year’s national theme is By growing better together, we CAN prevent child abuse, North Carolina!

At their March 21 meeting in Pittsboro, the Chatham County Board of Commissioners, along with staff, wore blue to raise awareness for Child Abuse Prevention Month.

“Children are vital to the future of our community, and we must do everything we can to support their healthy growth and development,” said Chatham County Board of Commissioners Chair Karen Howard. “Preventing child abuse and neglect is a responsibility everyone shares, and I hope all residents of Chatham County will do their part to ensure the children in their lives have homes and communities. safe, stable and nurturing in which to thrive.”

In 2021, the Chatham County Department of Social Services had 159 children in their care and accepted 299 reports of child abuse and neglect.

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network and Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina both provide resources for families regarding the impacts of child abuse and neglect. They recommend learning about, recognizing and reporting child abuse; they offer online training for parents and community members; and they share an affiliation of agencies that develop a strong support network.

On April 1, Chatham County staff wore blue and gathered on the steps of the Justice Center to raise awareness for Child Abuse Prevention Month.

“Effective child maltreatment prevention strategies succeed through collaboration among residents, schools, faith-based organizations, medical providers and others,” said Jennie Kristiansen, director of the county’s Department of Social Services. Chatham. “We encourage everyone in the Chatham community to get involved by making connections, helping your neighbor in need and making available services and programs in the community that provide treatment and support.”

People concerned about a child’s safety can contact the Chatham County Department of Social Services at 919-542-6988 or after hours at 919-542-2911. Everyone in North Carolina is required to report suspected cases of child abuse or neglect, and all reporter information is confidential.

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