Child Abuse Prevention Month is a time for communities to rally together to build caring connections, supportive environments, and positive experiences for children and families. During the month of April and throughout the year, families and communities can work together to strengthen families to prevent child abuse and neglect. Through this collaboration, prevention services and supports help protect children and produce thriving families.
For Federal Fiscal Year 2021, 51 states reported 588,229 victims of child abuse and neglect.
(HHS Child Maltreatment 2021 Report)
The California Training Institute (CalTrin) provides year-round training and education opportunities to support family-serving professionals working throughout California (and beyond). In addition to our diverse schedule of live webinars, the CalTrin website features recordings and resources from prior trainings and access to self-paced courses. By committing to routinely plan for professional development, you can improve outcomes for the children and families you serve.
See below for all the ways to get involved in Child Abuse Prevention Month! Throughout April, CalTrin will share additional resources and professional development opportunities for preventing child abuse and neglect. Join the conversation by following us on LinkedIn, Twitter (@cal_trin), or Facebook (@caltrin).
Child Abuse Prevention Month Resources & Toolkits
Whether by proclamation, through social media, event participation, or by other means, spreading the word throughout April about child abuse prevention lets your community know there are actions we can take to strengthen families and help them thrive. Get started with the below resources and toolkits from national and state partners!
California Training Institute
Hey, that’s us! At CalTrin, we are passionate about advancing child abuse prevention through professional development. Our innovative learning model enables child- and family-serving professionals to choose training and educational experiences that work for their schedule, learning style, and career path—all at no cost to learners. During Child Abuse Prevention Month and year-round, we invite you to explore our free learning opportunities and curated resource collections:
- Calendar of Live Webinars and Workshops
- Training Archive
- Self-Paced Courses
- Comprehensive Prevention Planning Support
- Relevant CalTrin Blogs
Note: You will need to log in to your CalTrin account to access the self-paced courses and select archived training materials. You can create a free account here.
California Department of Social Services, Office of Child Abuse Prevention
The CDSS Office of Child Abuse Prevention (OCAP) encourages everyone to support children in their communities by prioritizing families in California. During the month of April and throughout the year, the OCAP encourages you to support organizations that provide services to families with the goal of preventing child abuse and neglect. Visit the OCAP’s Child Abuse Prevention Month website to access resources for amplifying your messaging as well as learning events and activities scheduled for April, including:
- 2023 Child Abuse Prevention Month Webinar Series Recordings + Materials
- Social Media Toolkit 2023 (PDF)
- CAP Month Activities Calendar April 2023
- CAP Month Activities Calendar (Fillable)
- Child Abuse Prevention Brochure
- Pledge Card
- 5th Annual Child Abuse Prevention Month Kids’ Art Contest
- Children’s Memorial Flag Day
California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare
Visit our partner project’s Prevention and Early Intervention topic area to learn about evidence-based primary and secondary prevention programs, including:
- Home Visiting Programs for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect
- Home Visiting Programs for Child Well-Being
- Interventions for Abusive Behavior
- Interventions for Neglect
- Mental Health Prevention and/or Early Intervention (Child & Adolescent) Programs
- Place-based Initiatives (Child & Adolescent)
- Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (Primary) Programs
- Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (Secondary) Programs
- Substance Abuse Prevention (Child & Adolescent) Programs
Capacity Building Center for States
The Center for States helps child welfare agencies strengthen the ability of communities to support children and families so that children can thrive at home. Explore the Center’s resources to learn more about preventing maltreatment, preventing foster care entry, and increasing child and family well-being by strengthening families in their communities before problems occur or escalate. View the Center’s Prevention-Focused Systems topic andand read their latest CAP Month Bulletin!
Children’s Bureau / Child Welfare Information Gateway
During the month of April, the Children’s Bureau and Child Welfare Information Gateway recognize National Child Abuse Prevention Month (NCAPM) and the importance of communities working together to help families thrive and prevent child maltreatment. The theme of this year’s NCAPM campaign and the 23rd National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect (NCCAN) is Doing Things Differently: Moving from the Challenge to the Change. Visit the NCAPM website to access current data, publications, customizable graphics, sample messages, templates, and more!
- 2023 Outreach Toolkit
- Graphics and Sample Messages
- Child Maltreatment Data
- Publications and Protective Factors Conversation Guides
- 2023/2024 Prevention Resource Guide: This guide is designed to help service providers and organizations in every community strengthen families and prevent child abuse and neglect. Download or pre-order your physical copy of the Resource Guide!
National Children’s Alliance
Child abuse thrives when good people decide it’s none of their business. The National Children’s Alliance created the #ItsYourBusiness campaign to educate community members on the signs of child abuse and what it takes to make the report. Explore all #ItsYourBusiness campaign assets and use the various resources to initiate critical conversations with your friends, family, neighbors, and community and institutional leaders.
Prevent Child Abuse America
Prevent Child Abuse America recognizes that all community members have a role in ensuring children have positive experiences and families have the resources they need when needed, well before they are in crisis. The theme of this year’s Child Abuse Prevention (CAP) Month awareness and impact campaign that Prevent Child Abuse America leads in partnership with their national network of state chapters is Building Together: Prevention in Partnership. Visit their CAP Month website for ways to get involved, including:
- WATCH: Building Together CAP Month Video
- Digital Advocacy Day
- Pinwheels for Prevention® Virtual Garden
Mark Your Calendars! Child Abuse Prevention Month Events & Activities
Wear Blue to Show Support for Child Abuse Prevention
Join us in wearing blue on Friday, April 7! Post a photo of you and your colleagues, friends, or family on Wear Blue Day, and TELL US what prevention means to you in the caption. For example, “We wear blue so that all kids can have happy and safe childhoods. #WearBlueDay #WearBlueDay2023 #WearBlue4Kids”
Please note, Prevent Child Abuse America will celebrate Wear Blue Day on Friday, March 31.
23rd National Conference of Child Abuse & Neglect
The 23rd National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect (NCCAN), sponsored by the Children’s Bureau, will be held virtually over two weeks in April 2023 (April 11-13 and April 18-20). The 23rd NCCAN will offer a unique opportunity for thought leadership and action-oriented dialogue around Doing Things Differently: Moving from the Challenge to the Change, the theme of this year’s conference. Cost is free! Learn more and register here.
Child Abuse Prevention Month Webinar Series
In honor of Child Abuse Prevention Month, the Office of Child Abuse Prevention, in collaboration with the Child Abuse Prevention Center, brings an opportunity to further explore the paradigm shift from mandated reporting to community supporting as a model for being responsive to the needs of children, families, and communities. Participants heard from and engaged with a diverse set of professionals and caregivers in this April 2023 webinar series. Access recordings from each session online here!
5th Annual Child Abuse Prevention Month Kids’ Art Contest
Children and youth in kindergarten through 12th grade are invited to participate in the 5th Annual Child Abuse Prevention Month Kids’ Art Contest. This is a great way to get kids and teens involved in Child Abuse Prevention Month! The 2023 theme for the art contest is “Who Is Your Everyday Hero?”. Entries are due by Wednesday, April 12. View guidelines and instructions.
Children’s Memorial Flag Day
On the fourth Friday in April every year, the Children’s Memorial Flag is flown statewide in memory of all California young lives lost to violence in the previous year. We invite you to participate in this day of remembrance on Friday, April 28, by sharing a photo with the memorial flag and the hashtag: #FlagsHonoringYoungLivesLost. Access the toolkit here.
Plant Pinwheels for Prevention®
By its very nature, the pinwheel connotes playfulness, joy, and childhood. It has become the national symbol for child abuse prevention and a physical reminder of the great childhoods we want for all children. Throughout April, organizations across America will host their own Pinwheels for Prevention® campaigns. For example, staff from Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego and the Chadwick Center for Children & Families will plant a pinwheel garden outside the hospital’s main entrance. Agencies can coordinate their own pinwheel event or take part in other national/state campaigns! Learn more about Prevent Child Abuse America‘s virtual Pinwheel Garden ($10 donation). Participate in the Office of Child Abuse Prevention’s virtual #PassThePinwheel campaign by simply posting a photo(s) throughout April of you and your colleagues, friends, or family with pinwheels! Don’t forget to briefly explain what they mean to you and the #PassThePinwheel hashtag. Download a pinwheel coloring sheet!
Child abuse prevention is a year-round effort. If you suspect a child’s health or safety is jeopardized due to abuse or neglect by parents or another caretaker who has custody of the child, contact the child protective services agency in your County. Click here to access the California Department of Social Services hotline list by County. These 24-hour hotlines are staffed by trained Social Workers. Outside of California, the ChildHelp National Child Abuse Hotline is available 24 hours/7 days a week at 1-800-422-4553 (text or call).
*Last updated May 23, 2023