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LEE COUNTY, NC — May 22, 2023 — April of each year is recognized as Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time to be proactive in our efforts to stop and prevent child abuse. The Lee County Department of Social Services (DSS) recognized these efforts throughout April and continues to work each day to raise awareness for this issue.

Lee County DSS received 396 reports of child abuse or neglect in 2022. This past April saw increased messaging and displays of solidarity in an effort to spread awareness that child protection is a community effort.

Throughout the year, Lee County DSS encourages all individuals and organizations to play a role in making Lee 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 promote the social and emotional well-being of children and youth and prevent child maltreatment within families and communities.

Protective factors are the strengths and resources families draw on during difficult times to shield them from life's stresses. Research shows that when parents possess protective factors, the risk for neglect and abuse diminish and optimal outcomes for children, youth, and families are promoted. Major protective factors include knowledge of parenting, knowledge of child development, parental resilience, social connections, and concrete supports.

Child protection is a community responsibility. As a reminder, any person or institution who has cause to suspect that a child has been abused or neglected must report this. If you have concerns for the safety of a child, please file a report with Lee County DSS by calling 919-718-4690 and request to make a child protective services report.

For more information, please contact the Lee County Department of Social Services at 919-718-4690, or visit www.leecountync.gov/departments/social_services/index.php. Media inquiries may be directed to Hailey Hall, Clerk to the Board/Communications Specialist, at (919) 718-4605 or hhall@leecountync.gov.

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