Child Abuse Prevention Month has been observed each April since its first presidential proclamation in 1983.
According to Prevent Child Abuse America, abuse and neglect affects more than 1 million children every year. This can have a harmful impact on children later in life as research shows a child’s early years significantly impacts his or her future successes. In fact, children who suffer severe adversity in childhood are more likely to suffer long-term intellectual, behavioral and physical health problems.
Child abuse also takes a financial toll, costing the nation $220 million every day due to abuse investigations, foster care needs, special education, juvenile and adult crime, and medical and mental health treatment.
But child abuse and neglect are preventable. Investments in prevention support healthy child development and lower the number of children impacted by abuse and neglect.
That’s why this month WellCare is supporting local initiatives across the country to help prevent child abuse.
In North Carolina, WellCare donated $5,000 to sponsor Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina’s inaugural 5K Walk & Run. WellCare associates, and their families and friends, ran in the race to help raise awareness around this important issue.
In Kentucky, Gov. Matt Bevin and First Lady Glenna Bevin were joined by WellCare of Kentucky state president Bill Jones and representatives from Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky to declare the month of April as Child Abuse Prevention Month in the state. Attendees gathered at the state capitol to plant more than 3,000 pinwheels, the national symbol for child abuse prevention, and WellCare donated $5,000, which provided community organizations with the resources and tools to host their own awareness event.
And, in Florida, at WellCare’s Ocala Welcome Room, local children planted flowers outside to raise awareness around child abuse prevention in the state.
Child abuse is one of the greatest tragedies of our time, but it doesn’t have to be.
We can prevent it by building communities that are committed to strong families and to the support and services they need to raise healthy and successful children.
To learn how you can get involved, whether through mentoring, advocating or donating, visit Prevent Child Abuse America.