Child Abuse Prevention Month

Apr 9, 2024

April Ferguson LCSW-C
Senior Practice Associate Children and Adolescents
April 2024

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) acknowledges April as Child Abuse Prevention Month. The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) defines child abuse and neglect as any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caregiver that results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse, or exploitation, or an act or failure to act that presents an imminent risk of serious harm. During this month, attention is focused on prevention efforts that eliminate abuse and neglect.

Prevent Child Abuse America identifies three levels of abuse prevention and the correlation with adverse childhood experiences (ACES). Primary prevention efforts aim to prevent abuse and ACES before they occur. Secondary prevention efforts support families that experience risk factors associated with ACES. Tertiary prevention efforts are interventions for families that have experienced ACES. Examples of social work support at all three levels of prevention are below.

  • Primary Prevention Efforts: Advocacy, Legislative Participation, Awareness Campaigns
  • Secondary Prevention Efforts: Referrals, Case Management
  • Tertiary Prevention Efforts: Mental Health Treatment, Trauma Informed Care

NASW engages in prevention through social work trainings, publications, webinars, and legislative advocacy that supports the wellbeing of children. In addition, the association maintains active membership in the National Child Abuse Coalition (NCAC) and The National Alliance of Specialized Instructional Support Personnel (NASISP) to advocate for children and families.

The White House proclamation on Child Abuse Prevention Month, 2024 points to the goal for all children to live in happy and safe environments and social workers can play a vital role in helping families reach that goal. Below is an advocacy opportunity, educational resources, and related organizations to help social workers and others engage in Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Get Involved (Advocate)

Child Abuse Prevention Month Digital Advocacy Day 2024

Trainings and Resources

Social Workers Out-Front on the Harms of Corporal Punishment

NASW Social Work Talks Podcast Supporting Families to Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect
EP84: Supporting Families To Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect (

Shielding Childhood: A Four-Week Journey through Primary, Secondary, Tertiary, and Universal Child Abuse Prevention During Child Abuse Prevention Month – Free Registration

Primary Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect

Child Welfare Information Gateway 2023/2024 Prevention Resource Guide

Thriving and Healthy Kids: We All Have a Role to Play in Promoting Positive Childhood Experiences Webinar: Children’s Bureau has partnered with colleagues in the Administration on Children and Families, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Prevent Child Abuse America, and the American Academy of Pediatrics – Free Registration
Webinar Registration – Zoom

NICWA’s 42nd Annual Protecting Our Children Conference

Related Organizations

The American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children

Prevent Child Abuse America

National Children’s Advocacy Center

Child Welfare Information Gateway

National Indian Child Welfare Association

Child Welfare League of America