Families and Communities Work in Partnership to Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect During the Covid-19 Pandemic
SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF. – The County of Santa Clara recognizes April as Child Abuse Prevention Month to shine a light on the potentially devastating consequences of abuse and neglect, and the need to focus on prevention efforts. Throughout the year, the Santa Clara County Child Abuse Prevention Council and the Social Services Agency’s Department of Family and Children’s Services (DFCS) continue to partner with the community to try and ensure that all parents and caregivers have access to the resources, support, knowledge, and skills they need to care for their children in a manner that fosters healthy childhood development and resilience.
Surrounding children with healthy relationships at home, school, and in the community, not only prevents child abuse, but enhances healthy child and adult development, while serving the goals of long-term community wellness and violence prevention. Healthy relationships are defined as being physically, emotionally, and sexually safe, as well as respectful, caring and kind. Additionally, community and government collaboration to reduce poverty, homelessness, racism and bigotry, domestic violence, and children’s exposure to violence in all its forms are fundamentally important in this effort.
In support of Child Abuse Prevention Month during the Covid-19 Pandemic, the DFCS Prevention Bureau and the Child Abuse Prevention Council (CAPC) are partnering to distribute 7,000 face masks in East Gilroy and East San Jose, at First 5 Family Resource Centers and the Self-Help Center at the Family Justice Courthouse. The CAPC “Healthy Relationships are Safe, Respectful and Kind” campaign message will be seen during April at bus shelters throughout Santa Clara County. CAPC will also host a webinar series on “Race and Disproportionality in the Work of Child Welfare Related Agencies,” which will highlight research and recommendations about disproportionality in child welfare, the effects of immigration practices for behavioral health, strengthening families using a racial equity lens, and the experience of transgender and non-binary youth in foster care.
“I firmly believe child welfare across the country will continue to achieve the current outcomes, unless we attempt to address issues at the family level and we relook at our historic views of child protection,” said DFCS Director, Daniel Little. “Our County has a unique opportunity to impact national child welfare practices. We have significant stakeholder collaboration on prevention efforts and continue to see partners use the Child and Family Practice Model. We can build upon prior work to rethink and remake our protection and child welfare program and end up with something based on family and community healing. With the work we are doing on the prevention side, I truly feel we can create a system where no child is removed from those they know and can eventually get to a zero-removal family protection and healing system.”
CHILD ABUSE REPORTING IN SANTA CLARA COUNTY
The Santa Clara County Department of Family and Children’s Services (DFCS) operates a Child Abuse and Neglect Center (CANC) that screens calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. To report suspected cases of child abuse and neglect, call (833) SCC–KIDS / (833) 722-5437.
CHILD ABUSE FACTS & STATISTICS
- Approximately 3.5 million reports of child abuse are made in the U.S. each year, involving 6 million children.
- There were 5,847 reports of child abuse in Santa Clara County in 2020 that required in-person investigations by child welfare social workers; this is the equivalent of 16 reports of abuse that require investigation every day.
- 2% of Santa Clara County children have at least one adverse childhood experience.
- Learn more about the impact of child abuse in Santa Clara County at: https://www.sccgov.org/sites/cac/Documents/EconomicsOfAbuse_SantaClara%20(1).pdf
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About the County of Santa Clara, California
The County of Santa Clara government serves a diverse, multi-cultural population of 1.9 million residents in Santa Clara County, California, making it more populous than 14 states in the U.S. The County provides essential services to its residents, including public health protection, environmental stewardship, medical services through the County of Santa Clara Health System, child and adult protection services, homelessness prevention and solutions, roads, park services, libraries, emergency response to disasters, protection of minority communities and those under threat, access to a fair criminal justice system, and many other public benefits.
Visit the County of Santa Clara at https://www.sccgov.org
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Media Contact: María Leticia Gómez/Laurel Anderson, Office of Communications and Public Affairs, (408) 299-5119, [email protected]; Patti Irwin, Social Services Agency, (408) 755-7947
Posted: April 1, 2021