April, 2014: Child Abuse Prevention Month
WHEREAS, Last year, 33,970 children were abused or neglected in Michigan. That’s 93 every day; and nationally, it is estimated that more than 1,640 children die each year from child abuse and neglect; and
WHEREAS, Unemployment, poverty, parental drug and alcohol abuse; stress, social isolation and violent communities are identified risk factors for child maltreatment; and
WHEREAS, Both statewide and nationally, child abuse is considered to be one of our nation’s most serious public health problems with scientific studies documenting the link between the abuse and neglect of children and a wide range of medical, emotional, psychological and behavioral disorders such as depression, alcoholism, drug abuse, severe obesity and juvenile delinquency; and
WHEREAS, Child abuse costs the nation an estimated annual direct cost of $124 billion, approximately $1,400 each year for the average American family; and
WHEREAS, Prevention strengthens families and is cost-effective. Research shows that spending for child abuse prevention programs saves dollars that would be spent for crisis-oriented programming such as protective services, foster care, special education and counseling. This does not take into account juvenile delinquency or adult incarceration.
WHEREAS, Promoting family functioning/resiliency, social support systems, concrete supports, nurturing and attachment, and knowledge of parenting/child development all are known protective factors which prevent child maltreatment and help to strengthen families; and,
WHEREAS, Child abuse prevention is an acknowledged community responsibility, on behalf of Michigan’s children, this month and each thereafter we shall commit to “The Power of One.” This statewide initiative under the leadership of the Children’s Trust Fund asserts that the power of one person, one community, one dollar, one action, etc., during April will help to protect children from abuse and neglect throughout Michigan.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim April 2014 as Child Abuse Prevention Month in Michigan.