April 2021: Child Abuse Prevention Month


WHEREAS, each year in Michigan, tens of thousands of children are impacted by child abuse and neglect, which can contribute to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) that can have profound lifelong negative impacts on their lives; and,


WHEREAS, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, it is estimated that in 2019, 63 of Michigan's children died from child abuse and neglect; and,


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


WHEREAS, prevention saves lives, protects children, strengthens families, and requires less financial resources. Research shows that promoting protective factors, including support in times of need, family resiliency, social connections, social and emotional competence of children, and knowledge of parenting/child development, will help save billions of dollars annually spent on intervention, as well as help achieve healthy and thriving families and children; and,


WHEREAS, providing adults with concrete support systems to meet their basic living needs such as ensuring rent and utility assistance, diapers, cribs, food, school supplies, and health care will help them provide for their children; and,


WHEREAS, educating adults about how to use positive coping skills, seek options, and be flexible will enable them to be stronger and more resilient individuals throughout their lives; and,


WHEREAS, nurturing opportunities for parents and caregivers to engage with other parents and caregivers enables them to gain strength from each other within these social connections; and,


WHEREAS, helping children learn skills including how to create safe personal boundaries, establish and maintain positive relationships with others, identify and positively manage their emotions, be empathic with others, and think through options in different life situations will enable them to grow up to be socially and emotionally competent individuals; and,


WHEREAS, teaching parents and other caregivers about parenting and child development will give them the tools they need to optimize their childrearing skills; and,


WHEREAS, child maltreatment prevention is an acknowledged community responsibility. On behalf of Michigan's children, we join with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Michigan Children's Trust Fund, as well as the state lead for Prevent Child Abuse America, to commit to always "Stand UP for Children." This statewide initiative asserts that during April and throughout the year, we all stand together against child abuse and neglect by supporting prevention programs to help achieve the goals of strong families and safe and thriving children throughout Michigan;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of the state of Michigan, do hereby proclaim April 2021 as Child Abuse Prevention Month in Michigan.