Child Abuse Prevention Month Advocacy Continues Amid COVID-19

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GAINESVILLE, FLA – Partnership for Strong Families’ (PSF), the lead community-based care agency for thirteen counties in North Central Florida, has adapted their annual plans for Child Abuse Prevention Month in light of recent challenges brought by COVID-19. The agency has continued their family-strengthening efforts across their network of Resource Centers while also advocating for children and families in a virtual setting, ensuring they receive much needed support and care during these challenging times.
While Child Abuse Prevention Month is nationally recognized in April, celebrations that have historically consisted of community-wide events for children and families have come to a halt. Despite the need for social distancing, the agency says it is more important than ever to remind individuals of their role in strengthening families and preventing abuse and neglect.

“With schools closed for the remainder of the year, we have fewer eyes on our community’s youth during a time when parental stress levels are perhaps at their highest,” stated Stephen Pennypacker, President/CEO of Partnership for Strong Families. “It is more important than ever for neighbors and friends to use virtual tools to check in on each other and offer support. Child Abuse Prevention Month reminds us all that working together, we can ensure families are strong and children are safe.”

For families in PSF’s community of care, whether that be in the child welfare system or patrons at their Resource Centers, COVID-19 has presented many challenges, from loss of income to health issues resulting from the virus. PSF is actively working to assist families in their care and those served by the Resource Centers who have an identified need as a result of COVID-19.

“Our team has worked tirelessly since the onset of the pandemic to ensure continuity of care for the children and families we serve,” stated Patty Carroll, Director of Communications and Engagement for Partnership for Strong Families. “From our staff who continue to operate our network of Resource Centers to our Partner Families (foster parents) who are continuing to open their hearts and homes to children in need, our system of care is stronger than ever.”

Individuals interested in helping PSF pursue their mission during Child Abuse Prevention Month are encouraged to consider donating to their COVID-19 Relief Efforts. To learn more, visit www.pfsf.org/covid19.

Child abuse is preventable
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A hallmark of PSF’s system of care is our belief that child abuse is preventable. We have found that by providing resources and supports to families in need on the front end, many can avoid reaching the crises that lead to formal child welfare involvement functions.

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