April was first declared Child Abuse Prevention Month by presidential proclamation in 1983. Since then, April has been a time to acknowledge the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse. InChild Maltreatment 2011 (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children & Families,Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children's Bureau) it was reported that in FFY 2011 in the fifty states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, an estimated 676,596 children were victims of child abuse; and 1,545 children died as a result of abuse or neglect. The majority of child abuse cases stemmed from situations and conditions that can be preventable when community programs and systems are engaged and supportive. A community that cares about early childhood development, parental support, and maternal mental health, for instance, is more likely to foster nurturing families and healthy children.
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