In April, U.S. Army garrisons across Europe are offering activities for parents and children as part of Child Abuse Prevention Month.

SEMBACH, Germany -- U.S. Army garrisons across Europe have a variety of activities scheduled in April as part of Child Abuse Prevention Month.

This year's slogan, "Children's Safety Comes First - Be Ready to End Child Abuse" emphasizes the campaign's overarching theme that children are the future of our nation. They need stable and nurturing relationships, and they must be kept safe.

"Child abuse prevention and intervention efforts ranging from briefings on Family Advocacy Program services, respite care for stressed parents to home visits by nurses and social workers continue to be in place for new Soldiers, some of whom are married with children, as well as for current Army Families to help them deal with the continued stressors of transitions, deployments, and the innate challenges of military life," said Jane Helfrich, Installation Management Command Europe director of Army Community Service. "Our prevention education programs, as well as the Army's mandated interventions when abuse or neglect has already occurred, work to make service members and families more aware, educated, motivated and more resilient."

Healthy, educated, and resilient parents are less likely to abuse a child, and more likely to raise resilient children, according to Helfrich.

Despite these extensive and ongoing prevention efforts, child abuse and neglect continue to occur, thus undermining family readiness and Army core values.

"For example, some Soldiers and their family members may fail to understand the harm they do to their children due to unrealistic age-appropriate expectations" said Helfrich. "In some circumstances, Soldiers and Families may be reluctant to reach out for help due to the fear of negative consequences."

Helfrich said she encourages Soldiers and their families to participate in their garrison's Child Abuse Prevention Month activities. Participation not only helps raise community awareness but additionally encourages families to utilize support services that are designed to build strong, healthy families.

Child Abuse Prevention Month is also the Month of the Military Child. These dedicated months are mutually supportive, and are enhanced by other health-based and resiliency initiatives. The Ready and Resilient campaign, Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness Program, and the Healthy Base Initiative, to identify only a few, support the infrastructure needed for optimal Family functioning required for the prevention of all forms of child abuse.

The Family Advocacy Program is dedicated to the prevention, education, prompt reporting, investigation, intervention and treatment of spouse and child abuse. The program provides a variety of services to Soldiers and families to enhance their relationship skills and improve their quality of life. This mission is accomplished through a variety of groups, seminars, workshops and counseling and intervention services.

For more information about Child Abuse Prevention Month activities in your community, call your local Army Community Services.
Scheduled Events

April 2-3: "Hands are Not for Hitting" book reading at Play Group, with tips for parents table
April 4: Hunt the Good Stuff Resiliency Training for Parents at CYSS Ice Cream Social
April 17: Walk This Way Event w/T-Shirt Stations: 7 Steps to Protect our Children from Sexual Abuse

April 19: Partner with CYSS for an Easter Egg Hunt

April 9, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Positive Parenting Program and Emergency Placement Care Program, Tower Barracks Exchange
April 16, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Positive Parenting Program and Emergency Placement Care Program, Rose Barracks Commissary
April 1, 3, 21: Safe Child program at Elementary School and Child Development Center (Schedule is tentative)
FAP and ODR team up for FREE indoor rock climbing for children and parents (family team building)

USAG BENELUX - SHAPE/Chièvres: (check ACS schedule for dates/times)
Proclamation Signing and Info table
Family Advocacy Program Purple Personal Safety and Self Defense Workshop (Parent and child)
Family Advocacy Program Kid's Day: Safety/Education with CYSS, EDIS, Dental, Medical, Chaplaincy, FRGs, (Army, Navy, Air Force)

April 3, 4:30-6 p.m.: Child Light Ceremony, in honor of children from around the world who have died due to child abuse, in the Brussels American School Multi-Purpose Room.

April (all month): Silent Victims of child abuse will be displayed in the lobby of ACS
Every Wednesday beginning April 9 from noon to 1:15 p.m.: Brown bag "Lunch and Learn" sessions for the community. Topics discussed will be: Preventing Teen Dating Violence and Internet Safety for Teens, Love and Logic Sampler for School Age Children, Infant Brain Development, and Sexual Behaviors Development in Children, "Parent Button Pushers" - Helping Parents Handle those Hard Moments.

April 16: Hand out packets of child abuse materials at main gates
April 18: CYSS Kinderfest, participating and handing out information
Every Wednesday in April: "Wear Blue Day" in support of child abuse awareness

April 12, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Kids ZUMBA, Karate Demo, Musicians and Skits, Ramstein KMCC Mall
April 19, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Awareness Tables and Kid Posters/Art Display/Musicians, Ramstein KMCC Mall
April 29, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Children Summit, Vogelweh Galaxy Theater

April 26: FAP table and "balloon stomp" kids stress relief corner at Kinderfest
April 2: FAP staff at schools at dismissal distributing blue "pinwheels" for families
April 15: Proclamation and pledge against child abuse banner signed by community members at the PX.

April 1, Noon to 1 p.m.: Empowering Children through Self Esteem Building; Parenting Lunch and Learn
April 14 and 28, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.: ScreamFree Parenting classes ( two-part series)
April 18, 2-4 p.m.: Patch Theater Child Abuse Awareness Outreach and Kid's Movie Day

April 3, 3-4 p.m.: Fill Your Toolbox Parent/Child Class , Elementary School
April 15, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.: ScreamFree Parenting, ACS, Bldg. 108
April 16, 3-5 p.m.: "Freeze Out Child Abuse" Ice Cream Social, ACS, Bldg. 108

April 19, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Kinderfest (Community Egg Hunt), Wiesbaden Entertainment Center
April 16, 6-10 p.m.: ScreamFree Parenting & Bowling, Wiesbaden Entertainment Center

Page last updated Thu March 27th, 2014 at 11:51