Advertising campaign targets stressed-out parents

Governor Greg Abbott has proclaimed April as Child Abuse Prevention Month and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) is stepping up its public awareness efforts in a big way.

DFPS is launching a $1 million public education campaign aimed at helping parents deal with the challenges and stresses that can lead to child abuse and neglect. The Help for Parents, Hope for Kids media campaign includes one month of television ads in the largest Texas markets, radio spots in rural Texas, and a statewide mobile and online campaign from April through the end of August.

On the campaign website, HelpandHope.org, parents will find four new educational videos and many new expert articles and tips to help parents learn to deal with some of the most challenging aspects of parenting — dealing with teens, bedtime battles, crying babies, postpartum depression, toilet training, texting, and much more. The campaign’s Facebook page (4MyKid) shares fun and helpful ideas and resources for families.

Also in April, Child Protective Services (CPS) is joining with local governments, community groups, service organizations, activists, and other partners to put the spotlight on preventing, recognizing, and reporting child abuse. See more about prevention events in your area on the Events Page of HelpandHope.org.

CPS investigated more than 176,868 allegations of child abuse or neglect in Texas last year. Tragically, 171 children died at the hands of a parent or other caregivers. Another 66,721 children and teens were victims of abuse or neglect and 17,151 were removed from their homes for their own protection.

“Parenting is hard and stressful, so it’s crucial that we support parents in every way we can to help prevent abuse,” said Judge John Specia, Commissioner of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. “But if you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, please report it so we can investigate to make sure the child is safe and parents get the help they need.”

Learn how to recognize abuse on HelpandHope.org and report it by calling 800-252-5400.

Key Statistics

7,311,923 — number of children in Texas 176,868 — number of completed CPS investigations 66,721 — number confirmed victims of child abuse or neglect 17,151 — number of children removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect 171 — number of child deaths related to abuse or neglect 75,499 — number of people served by DFPS prevention programs These and more statistics are available in the 2015 DFPS Annual Report and Data Book on the DFPS website. (www.dfps.state.tx.us)

Other DFPS Prevention Hotlines and Websites:

Infant Sleeping Death Prevention: BabyRoomToBreathe.org

Texas Youth and Runaway Hotline (1-888-580-HELP) & website: TexasYouth.org