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Child Abuse Prevention Month: It Takes a Community to Protect Our Children

In recognition of April as Child Abuse Prevention Month, community members are reminded and encouraged to report suspected cases of child abuse and neglect

photo of President Ellenberg and employees of the Social Services Agency

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF. – April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and the County of Santa Clara is highlighting the importance of community-wide partnerships to keep children safe, prevent child abuse and neglect, and support families. The community helps to serve as eyes and ears for children and are reminded that a 24/7 hotline is available for suspected cases of child abuse and neglect: 1 (833) SCC–KIDS.
“Protecting children falls on all of us as a society and we need the help of everyone in the community to keep our youth safe,” said Board of Supervisors President Susan Ellenberg. “We cannot stress enough the importance of a collective mindset in this important responsibility.”
The County’s Department of Family and Children’s Services (DFCS) introduced the toll-free hotline in 2018. The Child Abuse and Neglect Center (CANC) screens calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
“If you notice or suspect a case of child abuse or neglect, please call the hotline,” said Supervisor Sylvia Arenas. “Just as we often say it takes a village to raise a child, it certainly takes a village to protect our children. While the County’s child welfare system is responsible to providing that protection, our community plays an absolutely essential role in reporting abuse. And if you’re ready to do more – please consider becoming a volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate or a Foster Parent.”
Collaboration with families and community partners is critical to providing parents and caregivers with the resources, knowledge, and skills to foster healthy childhood development and resilience.
“Our mission to keep children safe must be accomplished in partnership with communities, having our eyes on our most vulnerable children and arms around our families that need support,” said Damion Wright, Director of the Department of Family and Children’s Services (DFCS).
Wright emphasized that services and resources must be culturally responsive with a focus on prevention to ensure child safety and family healing. Surrounding children with healthy relationships at home, school, and in the community prevents child abuse and promotes healthy child and adult development. To meet the goals of long-term community wellness, the County leans on community and government partnerships to reduce poverty, homelessness, racism and bigotry, intimate partner violence, and children’s exposure to violence. 
As part of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, the County will host a flag-raising and proclamation reading by the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, April 9 at 9:30 a.m. at the James P. McEntee Plaza located in the main courtyard at 70 W. Hedding St., in San José.

The Santa Clara County Department of Family and Children’s Services (DFCS) operates a Child Abuse and Neglect Center (CANC) that screens calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. To report suspected cases of child abuse and neglect, call 1 (833) SCC–KIDS / 1 (833) 722-5437.  
To learn more about the impact of child abuse in Santa Clara County at:
PSAs to promote CANC hotline to report child abuse:
CANC Hotline (English)
CANC Hotline (Español)
CANC Hotline (Vietnamese)
CANC Hotline (Chinese)

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About the County of Santa Clara, California 
The County of Santa Clara government serves a diverse, multi-cultural population of 1.9 million residents in Santa Clara County, California, making it more populous than 14 states in the U.S. The County provides essential services to its residents, including public health protection, environmental stewardship, medical services through the County of Santa Clara Health System, child and adult protection services, homelessness prevention and solutions, roads, park services, libraries, emergency response to disasters, protection of minority communities and those under threat, access to a fair criminal justice system, and many other public benefits.

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María Leticia Gómez / Quan Vu, Office of Communications and Public Affairs, 408-299-5119; Rocío Abundis, Social Services Agency, 408-793-8820