Organization Recognizes Child Abuse Prevention Month | Local News


Special for the News Herald

When children and families face the pain and trauma of child abuse, a child advocacy center provides nurturing care and a source of comfort, information, and solution. Advocacy centers bring law enforcement, medical care, therapy and social services together under one roof, sparing children the ongoing trauma of sharing their stories multiple times.

April 1 marks the start of Child Abuse Prevention Month when the Burke County Child Advocacy Center (CAC) joins a nationwide effort to raise awareness about child abuse, neglect, and efforts child prevention. The Burke CAC aims to communicate the importance of arming families with knowledge.

Child abuse is rampant and, in times of crisis, we know that families are very stressed. This pressure can lead to a significant increase in the risk of child abuse. Dealing with the impacts of COVID-19, such as job loss, loss of income, complicated new school and childcare arrangements, and food insecurity, can overwhelm parents and caregivers. The proven programs, outreach activities and strategies provided by CAE help strengthen families, which translates into better care for their children.

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“The month of April reminds us that this essential work of protecting children is not only our responsibility, but also shared by our entire community,” said Beth Bruder Dagenhart, Children’s Advocacy Center Program Director for Southmountain Children and Family. Services. “When you see pinwheels and blue ribbons, traditional symbols of child abuse prevention and awareness, remember that everyone has a role to play in keeping children safe.”

“Too often our society views raising healthy children as the sole responsibility of a parent or caregiver,” said Chris Jernigan, CEO of Southmountain Child and Family Services. . “In reality, we all benefit when we work together to reduce the stress placed on families.”

Throughout the month, the Burke County Children’s Advocacy Center will use windmills, the national symbol for the prevention of child abuse, as a physical reminder of the happy childhood every child deserves.

The month-long awareness effort kicks off on April 1, with Wear Blue Day. This National Day of Support lets others know that you support strong families and positive childhood experiences. Entrants are encouraged to submit Wear Blue Day photos to

Southmountain Child and Family Services helps children and families overcome devastating trauma and create positive social skills, behaviors and lifestyles. A nationally accredited organization headquartered in Morganton, SCFS operates the state’s first and only foster community and ten children’s advocacy centers and evidence-based treatment centers serving sixteen North Carolina counties: Ashe, Avery, Burke, Carteret, Craven, Edgecombe, Harnett, McDowell, Mitchell, Moore, Nash, Pamlico, Transylvania, Watauga, Wilson, and Yancey. Information about the SCFS, including ways to support its work, is available online at or by calling 828-584-1105.


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