Department of Human Services (DHS) Acting Secretary Meg Snead today visited the Bucks County Human Services Hub as part of DHS’s effort to raise awareness of April as Child Abuse Prevention Month. The Bucks County Human Services Division utilizes the Hub as a ‘one-stop-shop’ to link residents with social and health services able to address their essential needs like food, shelter, and health care, among others.
“Protecting children from abuse and neglect is a shared responsibility and requires involvement from all of us – families, educators, social services workers, law enforcement, and everyday citizens,” said Acting Secretary Meg Snead. “Places like the Bucks County Human Services Hub are a safety net for families. When we create spaces that connect parents to the supports they need, we are also providing the resources for children to live in a safe and protected environment they deserve.”
The Hub provides Bucks County residents with a full-time resource navigator that connects to resources like food assistance, parenting and maternal care, employment, medical services, housing assistance, and more. Having essential needs met like food, shelter, and healthcare are important pieces of child abuse prevention. A study funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development points to improved financial stability among families helping mitigate the circumstances that lead to child neglect and abuse.
“As the Democratic Chair of the Senate’s Aging & Youth Committee, I know that protecting children from abuse is multifaceted and involves much more than punishing abusers,” said Senator Maria Collett. “I am encouraged by holistic programs like the Bucks County Human Services Hub that can connect struggling families with programs and resources. Lifting families up reduces instances of abuse and neglect and helps children grow up safe.”
The Bucks County Human Services Hub supports DHS’s Office of Children, Youth, and Families’ work in helping families and protecting children in the region. Learn more about the Bucks County Human Services Hub here.
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and DHS and its partners at the Pa Family Support Alliance (PFSA) are hosting events throughout the month to raise awareness and provide education on child abuse prevention.
“Today’s visit to Bucks County demonstrates just how many individuals and organizations are working behind the scenes and committed to keeping Pennsylvania’s children safe,” said Angela Liddle, President and CEO of Pa Family Support Alliance. The most effective first step in preventing child abuse is strong positive parenting. Today’s parents need education, access to resources, and support more than ever. Our common goal remains steadfast—to ensure that our children grow and thrive in healthy families and safe communities.”
Pennsylvanians who may suspect child abuse or neglect to report to ChildLine, the commonwealth’s 24/7 hotline for anyone concerned about the safety or well-being of a child. To report a concern, call 1-800-932-0313. Learn more about the signs of potential abuse at www.dhs.pa.gov/keepkidssafe.
DHS also encourages parents and families who may be struggling during this time to reach out for help. Anyone struggling with mental health and in need of referrals to helpful programs can call Pennsylvania’s Support & Referral Helpline, which is operated 24/7 by skilled caseworkers who can provide emotional support during this difficult period. The number to call is 1-855-284-2494. For TTY, dial 724-631-5600. Pennsylvanians can apply for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, cash assistance, Medical Assistance and other programs any time at www.compass.state.pa.us. Additionally, the 2-1-1 hotlineoperated by the United Way can connect people and families to local resources that can help during the public health crisis.