The pandemic has created a perfect flurry of risk factors for child abuse, family and intimate partners. Stress, financial stress, social isolation and poor mental health, which contribute to a greater likelihood of violence, have become the norm for too many families in the last two years.
However even during a pandemic, we have seen that when families have the necessary support, the level of abuse and ill-treatment decreases. This is because domestic violence and neglect do not happen because parents and caregivers do not love their children. Violence occurs because parents and caregivers go beyond what they can handle when even their most basic needs are not met.
If there is enough support in the families, including economic supportmental health support and paid leave, child abuse rates – visits to the emergency department, head injuries with violence and reports to the child care unit – are declining.
April is Month of Child Abuse Prevention, and this year’s theme: “Growing up better together, we can prevent child abuse, North Carolina.” North Carolina’s future prosperity requires the healthy development of our children, and we are all interested in preparing NC children to grow up as healthy prosperous parents, leaders, employees and community members.
Employers play an important role in building a solid foundation and nurturing the experience children and families need to thrive, and employers can start supporting families today by implementing family workplace policy in their workplace, which can help prevent child abuse. These policies include (but are not limited to):
These protective factors have been shown to increase parental resilience, child development knowledge and parenting skills; improve social ties of families; and lead to better social and emotional competence of children.
Practices suitable for families in the workplace also make sense for business. At The Redwoods Group, policies such as 20 weeks of paid leave after birth or adoption are based on the idea that the basic needs of employees must be met before they can reach their full potential.
As more NC jobs are invested in policies that promote healthy children, families, employers and society, we will build a more prosperous future for all of us. We encourage all NC employers find out what they can do improve your workplace policies for the family and help all NC children grow better together.
The role of employers in preventing child abuse, NC
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