You want to raise happy and healthy children who will thrive. However, the pace of military life can make this challenging. You may not always feel like you’ve got everything under control, but the reality is plenty of other parents feel the same way. Positive parenting begins with having sound information, a strong community of other military families, and full access to resources. Knowing you are not alone can make a difference.
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. The Coast Guard is partnering with the other military services to help parents build a solid foundation for their parental skills that will enable them to feel secure and be a rock for their children. Providing parents with community and peer support, as they learn more about child development, available resources and coping strategies, will not only strengthen their ability to raise healthy children, but it will also strengthen the entire military community. It makes a big difference if parents know they are not alone and there are resources and a supportive military community behind them to rock their parenting journey. “Rock-Solid Families Start Here!”
This year’s Child Abuse Prevention Month campaign seeks to build awareness and increase the use of positive parenting resources to help prevent child abuse and neglect.
Positive Parenting Resources
Take your parenting skills to the next level. Find time to de-stress and engage in activities that promote healthy coping. This will help keep your family strong and your children safe. There are many free programs and learning opportunities for military parents, including:
- Coast Guard Family Advocacy Program: Provides support, assessments, individual, couples, and family counseling, parenting programs, couples’ communication, anger management, stress management, safety planning, and other resources. Contact your local Work-Life Field Office through the Family Advocacy Program at 202-475-5100. You can also contact Johanna MacGillivray, LCSW, Family Advocacy Program Manager, 202-475-5161.
- CG SUPRT: Provides active duty members, reservists, civilian employees, and family members assistance with a full range of issues such as financial matters, relationship discord, and other work life stressors. 855-CG SUPRT (247-8778)
- The Child Help National Child Abuse Hotline: Live chat, call or text at 800-422-4453
- Coast Guard Mutual Assistance: To request assistance with CGMA’s Safe Harbor Program, which empowers intimate partner abuse survivors and their children with a fresh start, please contact Jessica Manfre, CGMA's case manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 571-438-9501.
- Coast Guard Legal Assistance: Coast Guard legal assistance attorneys provide advice and counsel regarding personal legal matters at no cost. Locate a Legal Assistance Attorney
The onus is on the Coast Guard community to advocate for the safety of children in our lives. Reporting suspected child abuse and neglect is required by law for the military chain of command and covered professionals (such as health care providers, mental health providers, counselors, social workers, school personnel, day care providers, and law enforcement, among others).
If you have concerns about a child’s safety, make sure you know what to do.
- Call your local Family Advocacy Program (FAP) at 202- 475-5100.
- Call the Child help National Child Abuse Hotline at 800-422-4453.
- Call 911 or military law enforcement if a child is in immediate danger.
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