April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. On Friday, April 13, 2018, our Head Start children enrolled at the Sarah Y. Austin Child Development campus led the way to ring out child abuse in Forsyth County.

Child abuse and neglect rates have dropped by 40% over the past 25 years. Yet reports of child abuse are still made every 10 seconds. In fact, last year 183 Forsyth County children came to the Family Services Child Advocacy Center for forensic interviews as a result of child abuse.

“We envision a community in which family members are able to manage stress and resolve crises without resorting to violence against one another – a community in which every child has the opportunity to become truly remarkable,” said Family Services President and CEO Bob Feikema at the Annual Ring Out Child Abuse event, coordinated by the Child Abuse Prevention Month Collaborative.

“Time to do more,” Feikema added. “Our trauma-informed services are helping children and families reclaim the safety and security they need to restore their well-being. Yet, prevention is the best defense for children and families. Let’s ring out child abuse and neglect for good by ensuring that parents have the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to care for their children and by making meaningful connections with children, youth and families in our community. Together we can ensure that all children are safe, secure, and able to reach their full potential.”

Ring Out Child Abuse is the collaboration of Forsyth County agencies and services that are working to eliminate child abuse and neglect. The collaborative includes Exchange/SCAN, now The Parenting PATH, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Department of Social Services, Family Services, Forsyth County Public Health Department, Guardian ad Litem District 21, Salvation Army, Ken Carlson Boys and Girls Club, and the Winston-Salem Police Department.