ICAN’s Healthy Families Program Raises Awareness This National Child Abuse Prevention Month

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April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month (CAPM)

This formalized national effort to raise awareness and further commitments to find solutions to child abuse has been in motion since 1983. However, momentum on this effort began gaining traction as early as 1974, when the federal government’s initial Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) was enacted. CAPTA was the first legislation of its kind that defined child abuse and neglect terms on a federal basis and provided funding to state agencies and nonprofit organizations to respond to incidents. Since CAPTA was first implemented, it has been amended and expanded several times to incorporate additional components, including standardized data collection & research initiatives, preventative measures, technical assistance and supports, broadened definitions of child abuse and neglect, and an emphasis on increased collaboration across other systems involved.

Since CAPM was adopted in 1983, government agencies, community-based organizations, grassroots initiatives, and other communities have continued coming together to raise awareness creatively. In 2008, Prevent Child Abuse America introduced the pinwheel as the new national symbol for child abuse prevention. By its very nature, the pinwheel reflects playfulness, joy, and childhood. It has come to serve as a physical reminder of the great childhoods we want for all children. Every year in April, blue pinwheel gardens are “planted” nationwide as folks showcase their commitment to protecting children.  Other initiatives have included “wear blue days”, awareness walks, art shows, conferences, galas and balls, legislation efforts, social media campaigns, and more.

ICAN is working to support and protect children across the community

At ICAN, our agency is working diligently to support and protect children and families across all of the communities it serves. One of our programs, Healthy Families, works towards this every day. ICAN welcomed the Oneida County Healthy Families program to the agency in 2013 and the Montgomery-Schoharie County program in 2022. Healthy Families is an evidence-based, free, and voluntary home visiting program designed to provide services to families that begin prenatally or at birth through age five. In partnership with parents, staff utilizes strength-based, culturally sensitive, family-centered, and relationship-based approaches that promote positive parent-child attachment to achieve its primary mission of preventing child abuse, neglect, and other adverse childhood outcomes.  

Dedicated Staff, Keeping Families Together

Healthy Families staff are committed to respecting the strengths of the families they serve, supporting them with identifying and achieving their goals, and maintaining a healthy home environment for their children. Healthy Families home visitors connect their families to medical providers for prenatal and well-baby visits and provide information on prenatal care, parenting, infant and child development, and child health. Healthy Families can demonstrate and provide fun activities for parents to practice with their children to increase bonding and support their physical and social-emotional development. Staff support families by providing access to community resources and services and using an evidence-based curriculum tailored to the child’s development and family’s needs. Healthy Families home visiting staff offers hands-on support, providing families with the tools to raise healthy, happy, ready-to-learn, and successful school children.

Across programs covering Oneida, Montgomery, and Schoharie counties, we provide free, voluntary, fun, home-based services to 150 families. 

Referrals can be completed by completing a program survey and faxing to (315) 731-5646, by email to healthyfamilies@ican.family, or by calling (315) 731-2680. Self-referrals are accepted and encouraged!