Army garrisons in Europe support child abuse prevention activities
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, "protecting children is everyone's job," emphasizes the campaign's overarching theme that "an engaged and aware Army community Is essential to the effort."

In the Army 2020: Generating Health and Discipline in the Force Ahead of the Strategic Reset, Report 2012, Army leaders have indicated that the increase in child abuse may be connected with the increase of stress on the Force. "Strong Soldiers, Civilians, and Families know to rethink ways to stay healthy and reach out for help," said Brandi Stauber, Installation Management Command Europe, Family Advocacy Program manager. "If you know Army Families who are under the kind of stress that may turn to child abuse, lend a hand. Lighten the load. Guide that Family to the help and support that you know is available. Make a commitment to child abuse prevention by connecting our people with the tools needed to address personal life issues before incidents occur".

"Tools include such initiatives as the New Parent Support Program that is based on a scientifically supported method of prevention. NPSP provides home visits to new and sometimes inexperienced parents with children under the age of 3 who may need a little extra support," said Stauber. "Think about very young Families with limited experiences or resources or more experienced Families dealing with unique Army Family challenges. Don't wait for the problem of child abuse to destroy a Family. RECOGNIZE signs of distress and connect our Families with the resources available such as life-skills education, parenting classes/groups and couples communication opportunities.

Stauber said she encourages Soldiers and their Families to participate in their garrison's Child Abuse Prevention Month activities. She asked first line supervisors who are directly engaged with the Soldiers and Civilians, and indirectly with their Soldier's Families, to encourage those they lead to use support services that are designed to build strong, healthy Families.

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.

2013 Child Abuse Prevention Month Activities

April 1, 4:30-7:30 p.m., Family Fit Day, at Villaggio CYSS field.
April 18, 1:30-4 p.m., FAP Ice Cream Social, at ACS.
April 20, 7-10 p.m., Family Karaoke Night, at Soldiers Theatre (tentative).
April 30, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Parent Education Conference.

Starting April 2: Starting a weekly anti-bullying program, Second Step, for home-schooled children.
April 1-30: Awareness silhouettes of children in various locations throughout the community.
April 1-30: Elementary School Awareness Quilt - "Happy, Healthy Families."
April 18: Adolescent Brain Development Seminar.
April 19: Kinderfest.

April 1: Mom's Walk Against Child Abuse.
April 4: Planting of a Pinwheel Garden by Students of Garmisch Elementary/Middle School.
April 24: Mom's Café Parenting Support Group with Emphasis on Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention.

Child Abuse Awareness booths every Tuesday throughout the month of April, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at various locations in the community to inform our community of their role and the actions that can be taken.
In conjunction with the FMWR Kinderfest, ACS will host the Survivor Challenge on April 27 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The challenge will be a fun (but challenging) event and will also bring awareness to the care we must exercise when raising our children.

April 4: Yoga-Parent Child Class.
April 20: Free game of Bowling with Shoes included."
April 27: Free movie, "Hotel Transylvania" to include a snack.

April 11: Info Table USAG Benelux-Brussels Installation for Child Abuse Prevention Month.
April 19: Info Table NATO Delegation for Child Abuse Prevention Month.

April 23: Reach out and Report Child Abuse from 3-4 p.m.
Join us and learn about child abuse prevention, identification, and reporting. Learn to recognize different kinds of child abuse, how to prevent it, and how to report the abuse.
April 25: Empowering Children Through Self Esteem Building Lunch and Learn from noon to 1 p.m.
Increase your awareness on how both children with healthy and low self-esteem communicate and how these characteristics affect parenting skills. Learn tips to help foster self-responsibility and awareness that will activate your school age child's individuality and potential for maximum success. Bring your own lunch.