National Child Abuse Prevention Month with Iola Brubaker
Iola Brubaker of the Keweenaw Family Resource Center joined the PHF Podcast to discuss National Child Abuse Prevention Month. National Child Abuse Prevention Month recognizes the importance of families and communities working together to strengthen families to prevent child abuse and neglect. Through this collaboration, prevention services and supports help protect children and produce thriving families. Brubaker starts the episode talking about an experience she had early in her career that made her aware of the issue, which is still extremely prevalent. Currently there is an incident in Michigan once every 16 minutes. Brubaker confirmed that the issue is strong in our community too, but she warned that it’s important to not jump to conclusions on the topic. “A lot of child abuse and neglect comes from a place of pain or lack of education and knowledge on the parents part. Many of the parents were victims themselves or were never taught the skills and tools they needed to be successful parents.” The first step to help stop this issue isn’t as complicated as one might think. “If you see a parent that you think may be overwhelmed, start with being a friend." The most important thing Brubaker is hoping to get across this month is that prevention is vital, and social connections are the primary prevention method for child abuse and neglect. While that helps, she reminds people that they should report neglect or abuse if they are aware of it. The reporting can be done anonymously. To report abuse or neglect, call the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Hotline at 855-444-3911. Learn more about the Keweenaw Family Resource Center at kfrckids.org.