April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. This year, the Department of Defense campaign aims to help families build resilience during uncertain times and raise awareness of a key protective factor shown to increase children’s resilience: the stability of a caring adult in their lives – whether a family member, teacher, coach or another positive figure. The campaign encourages adults to step up as positive role models, support parents in the military community and Stand Up for MilKids.
How you can help Stand Up for MilKids
As a leader or service provider, you play an essential role in promoting positive parenting and prompt reporting of suspected child abuse and neglect. A caring adult with a steady presence in a child’s life can be a source of trust and support, and is especially important for helping kids build resilience through stressful and adverse childhood experiences. Children who grow up with such an adult in their lives are significantly more likely to develop healthy social behaviors and positive coping skills that will help them to weather life’s difficulties, including abuse and neglect. Below are resources you can use in your community to encourage adults to Stand Up for MilKids by being the positive influence they need to grow safe and strong.
Start with the 2020 Child Abuse Prevention Month Messaging and Resources overview, which includes resources from the Family Advocacy Program on Military OneSource and Department of Defense federal and vetted non-governmental organization resources for parenting and safety information. Also reference the dedicated section on our website for coronavirus updates and impacts, including how to stay safe while staying healthy.
Be sure to check the Military OneSource website and social media pages – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest – throughout the month of April for additional resources. If you choose to promote this campaign on social media, consider using the campaign hashtags, #ResilientMilKids #StandUp4MilKids #NCAPM #NCAPM2020
There are free programs and learning opportunities for military parents available through the Family Advocacy Program and Military OneSource. Find out more here: https://www.militaryonesource.mil/stand-up-for-milkids.
- Reporting resources: If you do have concerns about a child’s safety, know what to do. Contact your installation Family Advocacy Program or the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 800-422-4453. As a first step, you can always contact Military OneSource at 800-342-9647 to refer you to the appropriate resource. Reporting suspected child abuse is required by law for military chain of command and covered professionals and is always the right thing to do. Learn more about how to report child abuse and neglect on Military OneSource.
Social Media Toolkit:
- “Stand With MilKids” campaign emblem
- “Stand With MilKids – Child Abuse Prevention Month” campaign graphic