Healthy Connections Play a Vital Role in the Prevention of Child Abuse


To highlight the importance of healthy, caring connections between children and their parents and the communities in which they live, Governor Roy Cooper declared April as Child Abuse Prevention Month in North Carolina.

This month and throughout the year, the North Carolina Division of Social Services works with local social service offices in all 100 counties to ensure parents have the knowledge, skills and resources needed to care for their children. Research has shown that building connections between families and funding programs that help families promote their children’s physical, social and emotional well-being go a long way in the prevention of child abuse or neglect. 

“In North Carolina, we are focused on improving outcomes related to children’s health, safety and well-being, so that all children can thrive and have the opportunity to grow into contributing, caring and healthy adults,” said Department of Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary for Human Services Tara Myers. 

In fiscal year 2017-18, DSS confirmed 28,838 children were victims of abuse or neglect in the state, with more and more children entering foster care because of parental drug abuse. There are a number of initiatives underway to enable families to become nurturing and resilient and improve a child’s social and emotional competence.  

In February, DHHS released the state’s 2019 NC Early Childhood Action Plan. The plan provides a framework for galvanizing coordinated action across public and private stakeholders for all North Carolinians birth to 8-years-old. 

DHHS is also working with various stakeholders on reform centered around the Family-Child Protection and Accountability Act and an independent assessment from the Center for Support of Families.  

For more information on Child Abuse Prevention Month, go to If you suspect a child may be abused or neglected, please contact Child Protection Services through your local county Department of Social Services. 

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