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April – Child Abuse Prevention Month

Blue ribbon for Child Abuse Prevention Month

As Catholics, we must continue to be models of abuse prevention every day, indeed every hour. Our commitment must be ongoing and resolute. Efforts to prevent abuse and to safeguard all who seek to join our parish and school communities can never be abandoned for an easier way.

Most Reverend Michael F. Olson

Please join Bishop Michael Olson, the Diocese of Fort Worth and the Office of Safe Environment in observing April – Child Abuse Prevention Month during which time we will bring together experts and information aimed at equipping our community with tools to help create the safest possible environment for our children to worship, learn and grow.

During this month, we are reminded of the call to be instruments of justice and to work for the common good by striving to end child abuse and human trafficking. We will shed light on the facts and learn to work together to prevent abuse and to help those who are suffering from abuses to heal. As Jesus entrusted to Peter the care of His flock, the same responsibility belongs to all of us as a matter of charity and justice. As His instruments, we are charged with protecting our children and the vulnerable among us. By focusing our attention on the ills of child abuse, neglect, and human trafficking we are led to a heightened awareness of the need to be vigilant in their protection.

Throughout the month we will provide important information about child abuse and prevention including how and to recognize abuse and to whom to report concerns of abuse. We will share prayers for the protection and wellbeing of our children and vulnerable populations and for healing for those who have suffered physical, sexual, and emotional/psychological abuse and for victims of human trafficking.

Please join us each day for a new prayer on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter for the renewed hope to end all forms of child abuse. Our observation of Child Abuse Prevention Month will culminate in a Mass for the protection of our children and youth and for the healing of victims of abuse offered by our Bishop Michael Olson and live streamed on April 22nd, 2021, at 6:00 pm from St. Maria Goretti parish in Arlington.

Expert Speaker

Child Abuse in Northwest Texas

Thursday, April 15, 2021
Zoom Presentation: 6:00 PM

Jamye Coffman, MD, MPH
Medical Director, CARE Team
Cook Children's Healthcare System
Fort Worth, Texas

Zoom logo This presentation will be offered through Zoom. Please click the button to register for the presentation prior to the event. Thank you!

Registration

Picture of Jamye Coffman, MD, MPH Dr. Jamye Coffman is the Medical Director of the Child Advocacy Resource and Evaluation (CARE) Team and the Fostering Health Program at Cook Children’s Healthcare System in Fort Worth, Texas. The CARE Team conducts medical interviews, medical and forensic evaluations, psychosocial assessments, preventative education and participates in multidisciplinary reviews for victims of sexual abuse, physical abuse, medical child abuse, and neglect. The CARE Team serves as a resource for parents, primary care physicians, law enforcement and the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services. The CARE Team and other Cook Children's Medical Center health professionals...

Complete Biography

"Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me."
Matthew 25:40

Child Abuse Prevention Mass

Mass for Child Abuse Prevention Month

Thursday, April 22, 2021
(6:00 PM CDT)

Livestream of the Child Abuse Prevention Month Mass from St. Maria Goretti Catholic Church in Arlington.

At this Mass we recommit our efforts to ensuring the safety of children and young people and pray for the victims and survivors of abuse.

Worship Aid (Bilingual)

Upcoming Events

April 2021 - Child Abuse Prevention Month
Child Abuse awareness posters, Texas Child Abuse Fact Sheet, and multiple resources and print materials available on the Safe Environment Child Abuse Prevention Month webpage.

April 2021 - Daily Prayers
Daily prayers on social media throughout the month of April. Please join us each day for a new prayer on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter for the renewed hope to end all forms of child abuse.

April 15, 2021 - Dr. Jamye Coffman Presentation
The Office of Safe Environment hosts Dr. Jamye Coffman, prominent pediatrician with Cook Children’s, for a discussion about child abuse and how to recognize and prevent abuse via zoom.

April 22, 2021 - Live stream Mass
Live streamed Mass celebrated by Bishop Michael F. Olson for the protection and wellbeing of children and healing of victims of abuse. Live streamed from St. Maria Goretti Parish in Arlington at 6:00 p.m. on the front of the Diocesan website.

10 Ways to Prevent Child Abuse

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Teach children how to help keep themselves safe and protected.

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Open lines of communication with our children so they can talk about their concerns.

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Maintain safe environment compliance certifications for people who have contact with or access to our children.

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Examine our own behavior and ensure that we, as safe adults, model appropriate boundaries and behavior for our children and the children in our ministries.

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Minimize opportunities for abuse or violation of boundaries. Choose group settings where possible. Monitor children’s internet use.

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Discipline children thoughtfully and calmly, not when the adult caregiver is angry.

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Recognize signs and symptoms of child abuse— remember five steps taught in the Safe Environment Awareness sessions.

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Report concerns for abuse.

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Invest in our children. Give your time and talent and cultivate healthy relationships with the children in our Diocese.

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Encourage parental participation in children and youth activities.

Blue Pinwheels

The Pinwheel is the national symbol of child abuse prevention efforts. It represents the innocence, joy and fun which should be the experience of all children. Planting Pinwheels on the grounds of the church or school leaves behind a dramatic, visual, public display of support for protecting all of God's children from any kind of harm. Mark April by hosting your own pinwheel event!

Parish Blue Pinwheel Activities

A child plays with a blue pinwheel.
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"An estimated 1 in 10 children will be victims of sexual abuse before their 18th birthday."
Texas Association for the Protection of Children