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Vandenberg observes National Child Abuse Prevention Month

In an effort to emphasize the importance of child safety and welfare, Vandenberg is currently observing National Child Abuse Prevention Month during April.  Since the early 80s April has been deemed National Child Abuse Prevention Month and has been used as a catalyst for individuals to reflect on how to better prevent child abuse and neglect. (Courtesy graphic)

In an effort to emphasize the importance of child safety and welfare, Vandenberg is currently observing National Child Abuse Prevention Month during April. Since the early 80s April has been deemed National Child Abuse Prevention Month and has been used as a catalyst for individuals to reflect on how to better prevent child abuse and neglect. (Courtesy graphic)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- In an effort to emphasize the importance of child safety and welfare, Vandenberg is currently observing National Child Abuse Prevention Month during April.

Since the early 80s April has been deemed National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and has been used as a catalyst for individuals to reflect on how to better prevent child abuse and neglect.

"April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time to recognize that we each can play a part in promoting the social and emotional wellbeing of children and families in our communities," said Lori Leopold 30th Medical Operations Squadron Family Advocacy outreach manager. "Every year, more than three million reports of child maltreatment are made to state and local agencies in the United States - involving more than six million children. Between four and seven children die every day in this country alone, due to child abuse or neglect. So, not only is April a month of awareness but it is also an opportunity to remind all of us that we can prevent child abuse."

Members of the Family Advocacy team aim to raise awareness through various events on base, as well as provide information to Vandenberg families.

"Child Abuse Prevention Month is a time to acknowledge how important our communities are in preventing child abuse," said Leticia Moore, 30th MDOS Family Advocacy program assistant. "This month gives helping agencies the opportunity to educate Team V on services that are available and promote community awareness by hosting fun events and educational classes. Family Advocacy will continue to encourage the Team V community to play an active role in the safety of our children and families."

With a comprehensive theme, this year's campaign aims to engage the base populace with a variety of educational events.

"Our theme this year is 'our kids: supervised, safe and sound,'" said Leopold. "Family Advocacy has resource and information displays at the Medical Group, Child Development Center and Airman and Family Readiness Center. We are also going to be joining a classroom at the CDC for the annual pinwheels for prevention campaign. The kids will be coloring their pinwheels and having the opportunity to take a photo with a special guest. Parents and those who care for children will see a calendar posted this month with daily tips to promote a nurturing relationship. We also have an event on April 28 at Balfour Beatty Community Center, where vendors and service providers from the local community will be available to parents. Everything from a car seat safety check to lactation specialty care will be provided. It will be from 12 to 2 p.m. I encourage anyone to come join us."

Though the month focuses on families, those involved encourage everyone to be involved in the month's events and take the time to consider the importance of child safety within their community.

"It's important for members of Team V to observe this month because preventing child abuse and neglect takes a community effort," said Moore. "Supporting the various activities throughout the month promotes a healthy and supportive environment for families. We all have a responsibility to keep children safe."

The observance also provides an opportunity for the Air Force to further take care of its most valuable resource - its Airmen.

"I think a successful family results in a successful mission. Just observing a month of special awareness is not what will make the difference, but people getting the message and knowing what to do in their community, schools, squadrons and homes is what will make the difference. Mission success depends on family success."

For more information, contact Family Advocacy at 805-606-8217.