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Tuskegee University recognizes April's National Child Abuse Prevention Month

April 14, 2022

Contact: Kawana McGough, Office of Communications, Public Relations and Marketing

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month virtual conference flyer
Virtual conference flyer

Tuskegee University is pausing to recognize the month of April as Child Abuse Prevention Month. Throughout the month, Tuskegee's College of Arts and Sciences and Department of Social Work, faculty, and students will join the community to increase public awareness and prevention education as part of their commitment to child abuse prevention.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many challenges to families, including increased child abuse and neglect related to many abuse risk factors. Tuskegee is providing opportunities to spotlight awareness and prevention with a virtual conference. The theme, "Keeping Children & Families Safe: Trauma-Informed Practice Modalities for COVID 19 & Beyond!" encourages all individuals and organizations to make Macon County and your home city/state a better place for children and families by learning about protective factors to prevent and treat child abuse and neglect. To register for the conference, CLICK HERE.

"By ensuring that parents have the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to care for their children, we can help promote children and youth's social and emotional well-being and prevent child maltreatment within families and communities," explained Dr. April Jones, Department Social Work Chair.

Protective factors are the strengths and resources families draw on during difficult times to shield them from life's stresses. Research shows that when parents possess knowledge of protective factors, the risk for neglect and abuse diminishes, and optimal outcomes for children, youth, and families are promoted. Major protective factors include knowledge of parenting, knowledge of child development, parental resilience, social connections, and concrete supports. Social workers and other professionals provide parents with knowledge and skills through practice modalities that raise awareness about keeping children safe through trauma-informed education and training for healthy and strong families.

"I invite all parents, teachers, healthcare professionals, counselors, psychologists, clergy, social workers, and community members to join the virtual conference to learn about practice modalities that may enhance your knowledge and skills to prevent child abuse and neglect," Jones explained. "Clients and practitioners have become more aware of the importance of trauma-informed care and prevention."

Jones says the conference brings to its attendees a variety of topics such as ethical practice, communicating with children, grief/loss, adoption, therapeutic parenting, and use of technology and safety in child welfare practice. Participants will leave feeling empowered and the knowledge of knowing about healthy environments and when it's time to seek help to prevent child abuse and neglect.

Adjunct Instructor Dekara Daniels, LMSW, who instructs the Children and Family social work course, reiterates the importance of education for professionals and students, "As a previous child welfare worker and current educator, it is vital that professionals know how to help families and the appropriate practice modalities for each client or family situation."

In the course, undergraduates learn the importance of linking families to community providers and resources to create a healthier and safer environment so the child(ren) can remain or return home. 

"The most important lesson that students take away from this course is that the child's safety is the highest priority, and children belong with their families," explained Daniels. "By the end of this course, students report having a different perspective of child protective services and often develop an interest."

The virtual conference will be held on April 29, 2022, from 8 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CST via the conference site Those interested in attendance must register as a nonmember on the website. This year's conference includes a dynamic "Voice" to the conference moderation with Spencer Croft, who brings an interactive virtual experience to life.

In support of these efforts, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children's Bureau, Office on Child Abuse and Neglect, together with Child Welfare Information Gateway, and the FRIENDS National Resource Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention developed the 2021/2022 Prevention Resource Guide, visit the National Child Abuse Prevention Month website for additional information and resources. Learn more about Tuskegee University Department of Social Work at

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