April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. It is a time to recognize that we can each play a part in promoting the social and emotional well-being of children and families in our communities.
Big Family of Michigan is an organization helping to make life better for children waiting to be adopted, or in at-risk situations. Their primary mission is to save children's lives by teaching the "Recognize and Report" method to everyone that comes in contact with any at-risk child, specifically foster children. The hope is to eliminate abuse to these children by teaching others to "recognize" signs of abuse and urge them to "report" it.
As the voice for these at-risk children, Big Family's goals are centered around restoring hope and self-esteem to children – who often feel hopeless.
How do you recognize an abused child:
- The eyes of an abused and neglected child are blank, emotionless.
- They show no signs of joy or emotion of any kind.
- Most abused children do not establish eye contact. They will look over your head, at the floor, or at an object on an opposite wall.
What to do about it:
- If you suspect child abuse/neglect, or you think something in a certain home just isn't right (but you can't put your finger on it), call you local child abuse hotline or 911.
- Keep a paper trail of your calls, logging the date and time.
- Document the name of the person that you spoke with.
- Note the case number for reference in a follow-up call.
- If you see nothing happening, call again and again. Do not give up.
- You do not need to prove child abuse is happening. You only have to suspect it is taking place.
- Listen to the voice inside of you that is tell you that something does not appear right.
- Make the call! If you are wrong, you will have caused no harm.
To learn more about Big Family of Michigan, visit www.BigFamilyofMichigan.org.