Presenters emphasized the impact child abuse has on all Hoosiers and our shared duty to ensure Indiana's children are safe.
“April is a time to celebrate and focus on the important role we all have to play in protecting children and supporting families,” Stigdon said. “Kids do best when they’re with their families, and families do best in strong, safe and supportive communities. This is a time for us to work together to make sure parents have what they need to help every child reach their full potential.”
Research shows that positive childhood experiences provide fertile ground for physical and mental health, learning and social skills, Merrick said.
“For this year’s Child Abuse Prevention Month, we’re using the metaphor of a garden to reinforce the message that every day, we help positive childhood experiences take root,” Merrick said. “By preventing child abuse and neglect before it happens, we aim to holistically improve the lives of all families and the communities they live in. We’re proud to collaborate with The Villages and DCS to extend this important and timely message across Indiana.”
Throughout April, DCS and its community partners will host virtual events across the state to highlight ways everyone can help make Indiana a better place for Hoosier children to grow up.
"Imagine the impact Indiana children who are loved and nurtured in a family can have, in just a few years, in our neighborhoods, our schools, our communities, our businesses, our government and our state,” Pierce said. “By treasuring and protecting each child, our vison for their bright future can, indeed, become a reality. What a powerful call to action this is for all of us!”
Click here for an interactive guide on child abuse prevention month events in your community.
- Governor’s proclamation
- Director Stigdon with pinwheel
- Pinwheels at the Statehouse
- Child with pinwheel
- Pinwheel word cloud from kickoff event
- Kickoff: Director Stigdon
- Kickoff: Governor Holcomb
- Kickoff: Sharon Pierce
- Kickoff: Melissa Merrick
- Kickoff: Sharvonne Williams
How can you help prevent abuse and neglect?
- If you suspect abuse or neglect, please call the Indiana Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 1-800-800-5556.
- Reach out to parents you know and offer a hand or emotional support.
- Volunteer time to programs that help parents.
- Let all of the children in your life know they can depend on you.
- Advocate for community services to help families.
For more information about adoption and some of Indiana’s waiting children, click here.
About Indiana DCS: DCS protects children who are victims of abuse or neglect and strengthens families through services that focus on family support and preservation. The Department also administers child support, child protection, adoption and foster care throughout the state of Indiana. Indiana Child Abuse/Neglect Hotline: 800.800.5556. Child Support Customer Service Kidsline: 800.840.8757 or 317.233.5437. www.in.gov/dcs