La Oferta

July 19, 2024

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month: County of Santa Clara focuses on protecting children, supporting healthy relationships to heal families

Fewer children have been placed in foster care due to efforts and diligence of social workers, community service providers, and family members
Fotografía cedida por Kaiser Health News (KHN) EFE/KHN/Heidi de Marco

Santa Clara County, CA. april 6, 2023– April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and the County of Santa Clara’s Department of Family and Children’s Services (DFCS) reminds the community that investing in healthy family relationships is at the core of healing families and keeping children safe.

Over the last several years, DFCS and partners have significantly expanded support for families, connecting them with culturally appropriate and community-oriented resources to better care for their children. As a result of these efforts and improved practices to identify family members to care for children who can no longer stay with their parents, the number of children who need to be removed from familial care and placed into foster care is dramatically down, while indicators of child safety and wellbeing are up.

“During the past year, DFCS has continued to strengthen our efforts on family engagement and healing, based on the understanding of the negative and traumatic effects of separating children from their family members,” said DFCS Director Daniel Little. “More children in our county are being kept safe and healthy with their parents, siblings, relatives, friends, and communities. Keeping children safe and well is at the heart of all of these efforts.”

Throughout the year, the Santa Clara County Child Abuse Prevention Council and the DFCS continue to partner with the community to connect parents and caregivers with resources to care for their children in a manner that fosters healthy development. These support programs are community-centered, culturally appropriate, and focus on child safety and family healing.

Surrounding children with strong relationships at home, school, and in the community not only prevents child abuse, it also enhances healthy development in both children and adults while serving the goals of long-term community wellness and violence prevention.

“Child abuse prevention is central to the mission of our County, which is to serve the most vulnerable,” said Little. “Our goal is to develop an even more robust and prevention-oriented continuum of services, and to address disproportionality, inequalities, and resource disparities. DFCS is working with partners such as Behavioral Health, Juvenile Probation, Public Health, and the County Office of Education to build a comprehensive, trauma-informed, family-healing model of prevention services. With this model, we want to ensure every child is safe, healthy, and thriving.”

As part of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, the County will be holding a two-day symposium, Looking Back 40 Years and Looking Forward 40 Years in Child Abuse Response, on April 21 and April 28. Panel discussions and speakers will cover past welfare trends and look at what can be done to improve safety and outcomes in the future. For more information or to register, click here.

CHILD ABUSE REPORTING IN SANTA CLARA COUNTY 

The Santa Clara County Department of Family and Children’s Services (DFCS) operates a Child Abuse and Neglect Center (CANC) that screens calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. To report suspected cases of child abuse and neglect, call (833) SCC–KIDS / (833) 722-5437.