At its April 6 meeting, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners proclaimed April as Child Abuse Prevention Month. The importance of supporting the health, safety, and security of all Buncombe families has been highlighted by the pandemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the risk for child abuse and neglect has risen due to COVID-19 and the social and economic effects of mitigation measures, such as loss of income, increased stress related to parental child care and schooling responsibilities, and increased substance use and mental health conditions among adults.
Rebecca Smith, Social Work Division Director with Buncombe County Health and Human Services, says, “COVID-19 compounded the load of stress and uncertainty that already existed for many of our residents. Community supports and programming are essential to the well-being of Buncombe families. These supports offer them the resources they need to get by and the connections they need to stay resilient even during difficult times. Positive connections are vital in building safe, stable, nurturing environments for Buncombe County children.”
Buncombe County partners with Mountain Child Advocacy Center and Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina to not only recognize April as Child Abuse Prevention Month, but to also hold space for our community to build caring connections, supportive environments, and positive experiences for all children and families. Across Buncombe County, blue pinwheels symbolize child abuse prevention and represent the happy, healthy childhoods all children deserve.
The CDC cites safe and stable environments for kids as key strategies to preventing child abuse. Those strategies include strengthened economic supports, quality early childhood care, strong parenting skill programs, and critical interventions. Buncombe County offers many of those services through its public health, social work, and Nurse-Family Partnership programs.
Click here to read the proclamation.
Buncombe Social Workers are committed to creating a healthy and safe environment for all children. During Child Abuse Prevention Month and every minute of every day, recognize the signs of abuse and neglect of children and report suspected abuse or neglect by calling (828) 250-5900. For more information on child abuse and neglect, click here.