Child and Family Services of Michigan, Inc.

We Can All Help Strengthen Families

OKEMOS, MICHIGAN—APRIL 14, 2011— According to the most recent Kids Count report, 1 out of every 78 children in Michigan was involved in a confirmed case of abuse or neglect in 2009, representing a 15% increase since 2005. More alarmingly, repeated medical studies are showing a direct connection between childhood trauma and serious mental, emotional and physical illnesses that present themselves in adulthood.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. This month and throughout the year, Child and Family Services of Michigan, Inc. (CFSM) encourages all individuals and organizations to play a role in making Michigan a better place for families. By ensuring that parents have the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to care for their children, we can help prevent child abuse and neglect by strengthening families and communities.

Research shows that five important factors are present in healthy families. Promoting these factors is among the most effective ways to reduce the risk of child abuse and neglect. They are:
• Nurturing and attachment
• Knowledge of parenting and of child and youth development
• Parental resilience
• Social connections
• Concrete supports for parents

“April is a time to celebrate the important role that communities play in protecting children,” said Sharon Vichcales, administrative director of Child and Family Services of Michigan, Inc. “Everyone’s participation is critical. Focusing on ways to promote the five protective factors, in every interaction with families, is the best thing our communities can do to strengthen families and prevent child abuse and neglect.”

Child and Family Services of Michigan, Inc. is a statewide nonprofit human service organization celebrating 120 years of service to Michigan's children and families. For more information, visit: www.cfsm.org.

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