Since 1983, April has been known as National Child Abuse Prevention Month. As parents, caregivers and community members, the work of raising children is one of our greatest responsibilities. While we aim to set positive examples and help children build their confidence, too many young Americans are still hurt by neglect and abuse. April is a month for us to recognize that we have the ability to stop violence within the home and help empower children across the country.
While a strong family unit is the ultimate defense against child abuse, there are many circumstances that prevent young Americans from having that strong family unit. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that more than 740,000 children and youth are treated in hospitals as a result of violence each year – that’s more than 84 children an hour. Trusted friends and active community members can help make certain that families receive the support they need by offering their time and resources, as well as taking an active role in the lives of the children. By coming together as a community, we can foster a safe environment for children to learn and grow.
If you or someone you know is in need of emergency or respite childcare, don’t hesitate to contact Youth Service, Inc. YSI can provide many answers and resources for those who are in need of a helping hand. Located at 34th and Baring in West Philadelphia, the Baring House Crisis Nursery provides free temporary childcare services for children from birth to five years old. Operating 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, a nurturing staff provides children with stable, high-quality care. The Sally Watson Center, which can be found on Wayne Avenue in Germantown, is YSI’s other crisis nursery center. These programs provide comfort for parents who need childcare because they are in a hospital or treatment program and those who are job searching or dealing with other stress that could lead to the abuse of a child.
Remember, you have the power to make a difference in the lives of children all around you. For more information about becoming involved with YSI, check us out on the web at www.ysiphila.org, or call (215) 222-3262.