State, business, and community partners support prevention
AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage issued a proclamation announcing that April is Child Abuse Prevention month in a press conference held in the State House March 24. This announcement coincides with an exciting new partnership of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) with the Maine Children’s Trust and the statewide network of community-based Child Abuse Prevention Councils.
“Every Maine child deserves to grow up in a safe, healthy, and nurturing home,” said DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew. “By ensuring that parents have the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to care for their children, we can help promote children’s social and emotional well-being and prevent child maltreatment within families and communities.”
The presence of a safe and healthy home in a child’s life is one of the protective factors that reduce the risk for neglect and abuse and promote optimal outcomes for children, youth, and families, including concrete supports in times of need, having social connections in the community, and understanding the physical and emotional development of children and youth.
The Maine Department of Health and Human Services recognizes the value of these community-based supports for families and has invested in the child abuse prevention network through statutory responsibility of the Maine Children’s Trust and the local councils. This investment includes the provision of parenting education, safe sleep instruction, and shaken baby syndrome awareness and prevention.
This state-local partnership is enhanced with the business support of Isamax Snacks of Gardiner. Throughout April, Isamax and the child abuse prevention councils will be promoting a special mini whoopie pie of the Wicked Whoopies treat collection. All proceeds from the sale of these mini Wicked Whoopies will be donated to the Trust to further child abuse prevention efforts across Maine. These mini-whoopie pies can be purchased at either of the Wicked Whoopie retail locations in Freeport or Farmingdale as well as through the local Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Councils.
The 10 Child Abuse and Neglect Councils located across the state will also host events in their local communities during the month of April. For more information about child abuse prevention programs and activities in your community, during the month of April and throughout the year, visit the Maine Children’s Trust at www.mechildrenstrust.org.
“DHHS is proud to be partnering with the Maine Children’s Trust in order to stem the tide of child abuse and neglect in Maine,” added Commissioner Mayhew. “Our children are our most precious resources and it is our responsibility as a state and as a community to protect them from abuse and neglect.”