April 2019: Child Abuse Prevention Month

WHEREAS, last year, 37,738 children were abused or neglected in Michigan. That is 103 every day; and,

WHEREAS, nationally, it is estimated that more than 1,680 children die from child abuse and neglect annually; and,

WHEREAS, unemployment, poverty, parental drug and alcohol abuse, stress, social isolation, and violent communities are identified as risk factors for child maltreatment; and,

WHEREAS, both statewide and nationally, child abuse is considered to be one of our nation’s most serious public health problems with scientific studies documenting the link between the abuse and neglect of children to a wide range of medical, emotional, psychological, and behavioral disorders, such as depression, alcoholism, drug abuse, severe obesity, and juvenile delinquency; and,

WHEREAS, child abuse costs the nation an estimated direct cost of $124 billion annually, approximately $1,400 each year for the average American family; and,

WHEREAS, prevention has positive effects on children as it strengthens families and provides a better quality of life for children and is cost effective. Research shows that spending for child abuse prevention programs saves dollars that would be spent for crisis-oriented programming, such as protective services, foster care, special education, and counseling.

WHEREAS, promoting family functioning and resiliency, social support systems, concrete supports, nurturing and attachment, and knowledge of parenting and child development all are known protective factors, which prevent child maltreatment and help to strengthen families; and,

WHEREAS, child abuse prevention is an acknowledged community responsibility. On behalf of Michigan’s children, this month and each month thereafter, we must join with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Children’s Trust Fund to commit to “The Power of One.  This statewide initiative under the leadership of the Children’s Trust Fund asserts that the power of one person, one community, one dollar, one action during the month of April will help to protect children from abuse and neglect throughout Michigan.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of the state of Michigan, do hereby proclaim the month of April 2019 as Child Abuse Prevention Month in Michigan.