Carolina Youth Development Center (CYDC) is joining child welfare advocates from around the country this month to recognize Child Abuse Prevention Month. Advocates, elected officials, practitioners and families along with others across the nation raise awareness of the prevalence of child abuse and the preventative measures being taken by community organizations throughout the month of April.
“April is very important to us as child advocates. We work to raise awareness of the prevalence of child abuse in our communities all year long, however when an entire nation comes together to recognize the issue our collective voices becomes louder,” said CYDC CEO Beverly Hardin. “CYDC works every day to provide our community with the tools and resources needed to prevent child abuse and strengthen families. This month brings to the forefront the importance of our work and that of our dedicated and passionate staff.”
Originally declared in 1983, Child Abuse Prevention Month is celebrated with blue ribbons or pinwheels across the United States. Pinwheel gardens, where groups of blue pinwheels are “planted” in the ground, serve as a reminder of the joy and whimsy of childhood. This month, CYDC has planted two pinwheel gardens, one located on their Charleston County Campus and one located on their Berkeley County Campus.
CYDC serves over 900 children and families each year through its residential and community based programs. CYDC’s residential care spans two campuses (Berkeley County Campus and Charleston County Campus), providing a home-like setting for children in the foster care system, youth transitioning into adulthood, and youth experiencing homelessness. CYDC also provides a variety of community based programs including the Strengthening Families Parenting Program, Family Support Center, afterschool and summer programs, and in-home community-based prevention services.
“Our service array is geared toward working with families and youth who are at-risk of entering the child well-being system and providing them with resources, tools and support to help stay safe and together,” said Jennifer Sanders, CYDC VP of Programs. “CYDC’s programs equip families with various tools and supports that help prevent abuse and neglect by focusing on increasing parental resilience , promoting social and emotional competence, expanding parenting skills and building support and social connections.”