April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. This month is both a reflection and a reminder that it takes all of us to empower communities in which all people can experience both life and love in abundance. That is our vision at Thornwell – and it’s one that is made possible because people like you care deeply about supporting strong, healthy futures for children and families. This month and all year long, we are proud to be partners in prevention with the Children’s Trust of South Carolina and join them in our commitment to being a champion for children.
Prevention starts with being proactive. Family changes everything in a child’s life, and families need access to programs and resources that empower them to be strong, healthy, and thriving. As our friends at Children’s Trust say, children are safe when families are strong, and families are strong when communities wrap them in love and support!
It takes all of us to champion safe spaces where children and families can thrive. You might ask yourself, “what can I do to help?” It’s as easy as raising awareness, making connections, and supporting families!
Raise awareness and speak up for the needs of children and families in your community. Child abuse and neglect are heartbreaking, and it is easy to believe it couldn’t happen in your community. However, abuse and neglect do happen– in all types of homes, families, and communities across cultures and socioeconomic groups. Here at Thornwell, we are committed to raising awareness about preventing child abuse and neglect through accessible education like our Building Families free parenting workshops and series.
Make connections by sharing local resources, services, and programs with friends and neighbors. Find out what’s available in your area and spread the word! Thornwell has programs and services in many communities across Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. Positive life changes can happen daily when families can connect to helpful programs and build community with others.
Support families by getting involved. Volunteers make support possible, and everyone has unique ways to give back! You might consider becoming a foster parent, guardian ad litem, or even a parent advocate. Here at Thornwell, we have 50 licensed foster families across South Carolina that welcome children and youth impacted by trauma and champion the successful reunification of families whenever safe and possible. We’d welcome you, as would any similar organization in the Upstate. There’s never been a better time to serve.
Strong families mean strong communities. Thornwell has a legacy of adapting programs as society has changed and expanded services to meet identified needs. We can do this hard, necessary work because people choose to use their voices, prayers, and passion to support prevention. Together, we will meet the needs of children and families head-on!
Rev. Myron Wilkins
President and CEO of Thornwell
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