The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) recognizes April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month. This is a time for all parents, children, judges, legal professionals, social workers, corporate leaders, and court system stakeholders to pause and consider the significant impact child abuse can have in our communities and across the nation. In 1983, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed April to be the first National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Since then, many public agencies and organizations around the country have organized activities and created resources to raise public awareness and provide detailed information on how to recognize, report, and prevent child abuse.
With an estimated 651,505 children found to have experienced child abuse or neglect nationwide last year, the NCJFCJ strives to provide judges, stakeholders, and communities with training and technical assistance to implement best practices and improve outcomes for abused and neglected children and their families.
Share a virtual pinwheel to raise awareness for children and families
This year, the NCJFCJ is thrilled to offer a virtual pinwheel event for the month of April with shareable gifs and videos to share on your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media channels. Each virtual pinwheel shared represents a child who has experienced child abuse or neglect.
In 2008, Prevent Child Abuse America introduced the pinwheel as the national symbol for child abuse prevention through Pinwheels for Prevention®. The pinwheel connotes whimsy and childlike notions. In essence, it has come to serve as the physical embodiment, or reminder, of the great childhoods we want for all children. The NCJFCJ’s mission is to provide judges, courts, and related agencies involved with juvenile, family, and domestic violence cases with the knowledge and skills to improve the lives of the families and children who seek justice.
To raise awareness of the children who have experienced abuse, neglect, or maltreatment, the NCJFCJ and Too Small to Fail, the Clinton Foundation’s early childhood initiative, joined together to share a virtual pinwheel starting in 2021. Watch this special message from the Clinton Foundation’s Vice-Chair Chelsea Clinton.
Join us in spreading awareness about child abuse this month, by downloading your 2022 pinwheel below.
Click below to download your virtual pinwheel for various social media platforms with some sample posts:
- To support Child Abuse Prevention Month, I am sharing one pinwheel to represent one of the 656,000 children who experienced child abuse or neglect last year. #NCAPM2022 #NCJFCJ #ChildAbusePreventionMonth #PassItOn
- To support healthier families, I am sharing one pinwheel to represent one of the 656,000 children who experienced child abuse or neglect last year. #NCAPM2022 #NCJFCJ #ChildAbusePreventionMonth #PassItOn
The work of the NCJFCJ has several initiatives and programs so that judges in their communities can oversee positive outcomes in child welfare matters. The Child Abuse and Neglect Institute (CANI), created in 1996, provides training in dependency court best practices for judicial officers. This week-long program brings together national and local faculty to teach on core topics including hearing practice, child development, substance abuse, and cutting-edge court improvement developments, among other topics.
The NCJFCJ’s Enhanced Resource Guidelines serve as the national blueprint for education and training on child abuse and neglect practices. The Enhanced Resource Guidelines cover all stages of the court process, from the preliminary protective hearing until juvenile and family court involvement has ended, which leads to the child safely being returned home or placed in a new, secure, and legally permanent home.
In response to courts across the country transitioning to remote hearings due to the pandemic, the NCJFCJ hosted eight virtual meetings with judicial officers who hear dependency cases in an effort to assist in improving practices through sharing and conversation, focusing on COVID-19 and its effect on court operations. Additionally, the NCJFCJ conducted its first virtual CANI, created specifically for New Jersey judges with more than 50 in attendance. If you or your court’s community is interested in state-specific Child Abuse and Neglect training, please contact us.
This spring, the NCJFCJ will welcome new court sites to apply practices from the Enhanced Resource Guidelines through the NCJFCJ’s Implementation Sites Project, which fulfills the goal of improving the outcomes for children in care. These Implementation Sites are part of a more than 20-year history of the NCJFCJ’s work beginning with the original Resource Guidelines and the Model Courts Project, which took a critical look at improving court practice for children in care and their families across the country. In the last year, NCJFCJ staff conducted virtual site visits and trauma assessments in 25 courts nationwide.
National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ)
National Center for Juvenile Justice (NCJJ)
- Disproportionality Rates for Children of Color in Foster Care Dashboard
- Court Improvement Program (CIP) Talks
- Enhanced Resource Guidelines: Improving Court Practice in Child Abuse and Neglect Cases
- Enhanced Resource Guidelines: Child Welfare Workers’ Companion Guide
- Implementation Sites Project
- The Indian Child Welfare Act and Active Efforts: Past and Present
- Key Principles for Permanency Planning for Children
- Redefining Judicial Leadership: Stories of Transformative Practice
Child Welfare Information Gateway
Child Abuse Prevention Month Toolkit
Too Small To Fail
Small Children Have Big Feelings