April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month; We All Can Play a Part in Building Community, Building Hope

Modified: April 7, 2017 3:49pm

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From the Office of the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Gale R. Burstein

and the

Office of the Commissioner of Social Services, Al Dirschberger, PhD

Date: April 7, 2017                                

CONTACT: Mary C. St. Mary/Mary.StMary@Erie.Gov

Phone: 716.858.4941/ Mobile: 716.253.3925


April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month

We All Can Play a Part in Building Community, Building Hope

 ERIE COUNTY, NY— April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. This month and throughout the year, the Erie County Departments of Social Services (“ECDSS”) and Health (“ECDOH”) encourage all individuals and organizations to play a role in making Erie County a better place for children and families. By ensuring that parents have the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to care for their children, we can help prevent child abuse and neglect by making meaningful connections with children, youth and families in our communities.

Research shows that protective factors are present in healthy families. Promoting these factors is among the most effective ways to reduce the risk of child abuse and neglect.Poster

They are:

  • Nurturing and attachment
  • Knowledge of parenting and of child and youth development
  • Parental resilience
  • Social connections
  • Concrete supports for parents
  • Social and emotional competence of children

“April is a time to celebrate the important role that communities play in protecting children and strengthening families,” said Al Dirschberger, Commissioner of Social Services. 

“Everyone’s participation is critical. Focusing on ways to connect with families is the best thing our community can do to strengthen families and prevent child abuse and neglect.”

To recognize Child Abuse Prevention Month, ECDSS is presenting a special event on

Friday, April 21st from 12:30-3:00PM at the Erie Community College, South Campus, Lecture Hall 5-202 (Building #5, Room 202, 4041 Southwestern Boulevard, Orchard Park).

“Before the Hotline…Building a Community, Building Hope” will focus on the programs and services available to families in crisis before child abuse or maltreatment occurs.

"Before the Hotline..." will include:

  • A resource fair where organizations and community partners will provide information about their services
  • A panel presentation on health homes
  • The Erie County Family Services Team and additional resource providers available to answer questions

All are welcome to the event, but especially community educators, teachers, mandated reporters, providers, peace officers, social work students and alumni, faith community leaders, and medical professionals.

Lunch will be provided free for the first 100 pre-registered attendees and there is no charge to park.

RSVP to Hannah Holden, ECDSS at (716) 858-8679 or via email at mailto:hannah.holden@erie.gov. Registration is also available online here.

“More than 650,000 children are abused in the U.S. every year, and more than 1,500 children die from abuse or neglect.

Those who survive maltreatment often suffer life-long health problems including chronic physical and mental health conditions,” stated Dr. Gale Burstein, Commissioner of Health.

“Parents need support and as much information as possible in order to raise their children responsibly. They need to be taught how to cope with their own feelings of frustration and anger without venting them on children.

Year-round, Erie County offers both support and educational opportunities for parents and caregivers to learn how to prevent child abuse and recognize signs of child abuse.”


If you suspect your child has been abused, immediately contact the

State Central Register at 1-800-342-3720.


Physicians are legally obligated to report all suspected cases of abuse or neglect to state authorities. Your child’s pediatrician can detect and treat any medical injuries or ailments, recommend a therapist, and provide necessary information to investigators.




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For More Information:

Erie County Department of Social Services-Child Protective Services

Erie County Department of Health-Early Intervention Program

American Academy of Pediatrics-What to Know About Child Abuse

New York State Child Protective Services

Frequently Requested



Phone: (716) 858-7690

Fax: (716) 858-8701

Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH)
95 Franklin Street
Buffalo, New York 14202

ECDOH Locations