To promote awareness of April as Child Abuse Prevention Month, the Child Abuse Prevention Task Force of Brevard County will host several events and activities to spread a community-wide message that everyone can help prevent child abuse and neglect. The official kick-off for the month’s events and awareness-raising campaign will take place on Saturday, April 5 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Squid Lips Overwater Grill – 1477 Pineapple Ave., in Melbourne. The event will include activities for children, family entertainment and a boat regatta, and include a reading by Brevard County Commissioner, Trudie Infantini of a proclamation by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners declaring April Child Abuse Prevention Month in Brevard. Squid Lips will donate a portion of the proceeds from all food sales during the event.

Other activities taking place throughout the month include the annual Child Abuse Prevention Awards breakfast on Friday, April 18 at 8:30 a.m. at Suntree Country Club – 1 Country Club Dr., Melbourne. The event recognizes and honors local individuals, businesses and organizations that have made significant contributions in the support of child abuse prevention efforts. CAPTF members will also visit several neighborhoods throughout Brevard, distributing positive parenting information to families. Additionally, members will plant pinwheels on the grounds of many local businesses; pinwheels are the official icon of Child Abuse Prevention month.

“The goal of Child Abuse Prevention month is to encourage all individuals and organizations to play a role in making Brevard County a safer place for children and families,” said CAPTF chairman, Tracy Little of Brevard C.A.R.E.S. “Ensuring that parents have the knowledge, skills and resources they need to care for themselves and their children helps promote families’ social and emotional well-being and prevents child abuse and neglect.”

Research shows that when parents possess five protective factors, the risk for neglect and abuse diminish and optimal outcomes for children, youth, and families are promoted. The five protective factors are: parent resilience; knowledge of parenting and child development, social and emotional competence of children, social connections; and concrete support in times of need. Focusing on ways to build and promote the protective factors is the best thing a community can do to prevent child abuse and neglect.

Families in crisis or experiencing stressors that could lead to child abuse or neglect are encouraged to call 211 Brevard or Brevard C.A.R.E.S. at 888-CARES-09 (888-227-3709). Anyone who suspects abuse or neglect of a child may report their suspicions by calling 1-800-96-ABUSE (800-962-2873).

For more information about child abuse prevention programs and activities during the month of April and throughout the year, contact the Brevard County Child Abuse Prevention Task Force on the web