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The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges recognizes April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month (sponsored)

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The Reno-based National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) recognizes April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

To raise awareness for this important issue, the NCJFCJ, the Washoe County Human Services Agency (HSA), Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, Washoe County District Attorney’s Office, Northern Nevada Legal Aid, and the Reno Aces will plant a blue pinwheel garden – displaying Nevada’s commitment to support children affected by abuse and neglect at Greater Nevada Field on Thursday, April 11, 2024, beginning at 11 a.m. 

In 1983, April was declared National Child Abuse Prevention Month by a Presidential proclamation. It allows people to pause from daily routines and acknowledge participants in the child welfare system who are committed to promoting the social development and well-being of children and families.

In 2008, Prevent Child Abuse America introduced the pinwheel as the national symbol for child abuse prevention through Pinwheels for Prevention®. The pinwheel connotes whimsy and childlike notion and has come to serve as the physical embodiment, or reminder, of the great childhoods we want for all children.

“Judges are uniquely positioned to facilitate systems reform in dependency court systems,” said Joey Orduña Hastings, CEO of the NCJFCJ. “The NCJFCJ has been partnering with courts across the country and in our northern Nevada community to improve outcomes for abused and neglected children and their families for many years. Child abuse and neglect affect children of every age, race, and income level and judges are essential catalysts for improving their courts and systems responses to child abuse and neglect. Please share our pinwheels to raise awareness for healthier families and healthier communities.”

In fiscal year (FY) 2022, there were 558,899 child abuse and neglect victims nationwide, according to the 2022 Child Maltreatment report from the Children’s Bureau at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families.

The work of the NCJFCJ has several initiatives and programs so that judges in their communities can oversee positive outcomes in child welfare matters. The Child Abuse and Neglect Institute, created in 1996, provides training in dependency court best practices for judicial officers. This week-long program brings together national and local faculty to teach on core topics including hearing practice, child development, substance abuse, and cutting-edge court improvement developments, among other topics. 

The NCJFCJ’s “Enhanced Resource Guidelines” serves as the national blueprint for education and training on child abuse and neglect practices. The “Enhanced Resource Guidelines” covers all stages of the court process, from the preliminary protective hearing until juvenile and family court involvement has ended, which leads to the child safely being returned home or placed in a new, secure and legally permanent home. The NCJFCJ has 31 Implementation Sites nationwide, which fulfills the goal of improving the outcomes for children in care. These Implementation Sites are part of a 25-year history of the NCJFCJ’s work beginning with the original “Resource Guidelines” and the Model Courts Project, which took a critical look at improving court practice for children in care and their families across the country.

More than 4 million families are impacted by the work of the NCJFCJ every year. To learn more about the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, visit ncjfcj.org.

About the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ)

Founded in 1937, the Reno, Nevada-based National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges is the nation’s oldest judicial membership and education organization focused on improving the effectiveness of our nation’s juvenile and family courts. A leader in continuing education opportunities, research, and policy development in the fields of juvenile and family justice, domestic violence, and domestic relations, the 2,000-member organization is unique in providing practice-based resources to jurisdictions and communities nationwide. The NCJFCJ serves an estimated 30,000 juvenile and family court professionals in state and tribal courts throughout the country, who impact more than 4 million families.

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