A Message from Gail
Every April, we raise awareness about child abuse prevention. However, this work is ongoing and constant. We must continue to be diligent in supporting families no matter the circumstances. We must also recognize that both parents AND children need support, encouragement and someone to believe in them.
The Effects of ACEs
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) include abuse and neglect as well as other household dysfunctions or circumstances that affect children adversely. These may include substance abuse, mental illness of a parent, domestic violence and criminal behavior. ACEs place a child at higher risk of entering the foster care system. The childhood trauma stemming from adversity has a profound impact on social connections, school readiness and increased likelihood of developing negative coping mechanisms. The adverse impacts go on to affect our larger society in terms of health-related costs, worker productivity costs and criminal justice costs as these children become adults. This is compounded when a child has adverse experiences in four or more of the 10 primary categories.
The Power of Positive Relationships
Although ACEs can be damaging, science also demonstrates that providing stable, responsive, nurturing relationships can prevent or even reverse the damaging effects of early life stress. These positive relationships also provide lifelong benefits for learning, behavior and health. KCSL is celebrating 30 years in 2023 as the state chapter for Prevent Child Abuse America. We are honored to serve in this role for Kansas and provide ongoing opportunities for dialogue with state and community leaders about improving the lives of children and families.
As supporters of KCSL and advocates for children and families, we must build positive futures together in partnership this April and all year. Here are some actions you can take:
- Offer to babysit for a friend, neighbor or family member
- Mentor a new parent
- Wear a pinwheel lapel pin or display a pinwheel garden to show support. Resources can be ordered by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
- Support family-friendly workplace policies – watch this video to learn more
- Advocate for policies that support families by sending emails or making phone calls to your elected officials
- Learn more about Building Together: Prevention in Partnership here.