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April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and the Child Welfare Information Gateway in conjunction with the U.S.Department of Health and Human Services Childrens’ Bureau, Office on Child Abuse and Neglect and the FRIENDS National Resource Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention is offering free copies of  Strengthening Families and Communities – 2009 Resource Guide.  The packet, available for download (pdf) or hardcopy, is developed for service providers and others who work to promote healthy families and prevent child abuse and neglect. Locally Missouri Children’s Trust Fund (CTF), as the state CBCAP lead agency, provided copies to each participant attending the state conference on child abuse and neglect prevention in March, as well as copies to each CTF grantee.

The packet contains tip sheets in English and Spanish for providers to share with parents, ideas and strategies for engaging communities and the media, as well as strategies to strengthen families by promoting key protective factors that prevent child abuse and neglect. The protective factors help lay the foundation for prevention by helping parents build resiliency and social connections, providing concrete support and resources, and providing parents with knowledge of parenting including the importance of nurturing, attachment and appropriate developmental ages and stages.  Organizations are encouraged to use this resource guide throughout the year to promote healthy families and educate others about the cost-saving benefits of prevention.