As we wrap up Child Abuse Awareness month, Catholic Charities wants to recognize the importance of the month agency wide. By placing focus on collaboration and prevention services within all our ministries, we can help protect children and cultivate families’ dynamics.
Child abuse comes in many forms, including physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, as well as neglect. It has a profound impact on a child’s life, leading to long-term emotional and physical consequences. Catholic Charities of Denver has taken action to raise awareness and prevent child abuse in all our ministries, with a focus on shelter services, Kinship, our program that connects caretakers raising children, Early Childhood Education programs, as well as Marisol Services, our comprehensive network including medical, housing and social services designed to meet the urgent and ongoing needs of women and families.
Agency wide, our ministries ensure the physical, emotional, and basic needs of a child are met. Marisol Counseling is a team of highly trained counselors offering at home visits for families that need that guidance within the home. Catholic Charities recognizes the impacts of generational trauma that many families have experienced and work with them to build foundational resiliency and reduce the amounts of toxic stress their children experience.
Earlier this month, children residing at Samaritan House placed blue pinwheels in the front lawn and enjoyed popsicles to celebrate resilience. Blue signifies the meaning of the cause, reflecting a tragic story of a grandmother in Virginia losing her grandchild to neglect. Staff members used this time to celebrate the courageous parents in our shelters who have gone above and beyond to protect their children.
“Providing year-round shelter at its core is a critical service to children and their families to address child abuse/neglect. Having a safe/stable environment adds a vital protective factor for the parent/guardian and child(ren) and allows the opportunity for access to address food insecurity, pediatric medical care, behavioral health support and respite to the family system,” said Executive Director of Denver Shelters, Orlando Padilla.
Through collaboration efforts, Catholic Charities of Denver hopes to raise awareness about the prevalence of child abuse and the importance of preventing it. By creating a culture of safety and support within our ministries, we are working to give children and families the resources they need to heal and thrive.
“Providing access/support and having one positive adult relationship in the child’s life changes the trajectory for the child and offers hope, as we build resiliency and break the cycle of generational abuse/neglect.” shared Padilla.