A DCHS CONNECT FEATURE
April 16, 2021--Throughout the month of April, in recognition of Child Abuse Prevention Month, the City of Alexandria encourages residents to learn about responding to and helping children and families at risk of abuse and neglect by knowing the warning signs, how to intervene and participating in virtual training for community groups.
Alexandria’s Child Protective Services (CPS) has continued serving families during the COVID-19 pandemic by ensuring child safety and connecting families to needed resources during increased stress from health and economic hardships. In fiscal year 2020, CPS conducted 585 family assessments in response to concerns of abused or neglected children.
The pandemic has also focused attention on the inequities stemming from systemic racism. Alexandria’s Child Welfare Services (CWS) acknowledges the disproportionate representation of Black children and families and in child welfare systems. CWS commits to working toward eliminating inequities to enable all community members to enjoy a sense of well-being, safety and self-sufficiency.
Preventing child abuse and neglect is everyone’s responsibility. Current virtual training opportunities for professional and community groups of three or more members, including civic, religious or other group, include:
- Responding Responsibly to Child Abuse and Neglect
- Darkness to Light’s Stewards of Children – training on preventing sexual abuse in your organization and community
- Darkness to Light’s Bystanders Protecting Children from Boundary Violations
Visit the City’s Child Abuse Prevention webpage for information about recognizing signs of abuse, intervening and requesting training.
This article is a slightly edited version of a City news release.