Letter to the editor: Stop child abuse; promote social well-being

The Dallas County Coalitions will mark April as National Child Abuse Awareness Month with a banner at the southeast corner of the Dallas County Courthouse lawn and other activities.

To the editor:

The Dallas County Coalitions — the Dallas County Children’s Advocacy Council, Generation Wellness, Community Partnership for Protecting Children and 4RKids — along with Prevent Child Abuse Iowa are joining communities across Iowa in celebrating the importance of family and community connections and working to strengthen social well-being during Child Abuse Prevention Month in April.

Agencies and individuals are encouraged to know the warning signs of children’s mental health issues in order to support community efforts to improve mental health development for children.

Mental health is connected to social, emotional and cognitive development, and it is a foundation for a healthy life, healthy community and healthy state. When children’s mental health needs are met, they are more likely to do better in school and college and in the workforce and more likely to be healthy, productive adults in our community.

Caring and supportive relationships are the keys to strengthening social well-being, a primary indicator of overall health and an essential factor in preventing child abuse and neglect.

Children are our future and if we take action not just in April but every day, we can go a long way toward building connected communities and decreasing abuse and neglect.

Connected communities strength families, have lower crime rates and better physical and mental health, and they spend less money on treating social problems.

The architecture of a child’s brain is built over time. Community violence or parental substance abuse can damage brain architecture — but secure, loving relationships, stimulating experiences and healthy environments can build a solid foundation to support children into adulthood.

Health promotion, prevention and early intervention for children’s mental health needs are essential to aid in healthy development.

You can also join the Dallas County Coalitions and Prevent Child Abuse Iowa in celebrating April as Child Abuse Prevention Month. Together we can give children the foundation they need to reach their full potential and, as a result, build a community that is safer, healthier and more prosperous overall.

The Dallas County Coalitions and Prevent Child Abuse Iowa

  • Dallas County Children’s Advocacy Council
    Joy Greer – jgreer@thefamilyconnectionia.com
  • Generation Wellness
    Dena Ownes – denarowens@gmail.com
  • Community Partnership for Protecting Children (CPPC)
    Jenny Felt – jfelt@dhs.state.ia.us
  • 4RKids (Early Childhood Iowa)
    Deb Schrader – 4rkidseci@gmail.com


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