Europe garrisons support child abuse prevention activities

U.S. Army garrisons across Europe have a variety of activities scheduled in April as part of Child Abuse Prevention Month.

This year’s slogan, “protecting children is everyone’s job,” emphasizes the campaign’s overarching theme that “an engaged and aware Army community is essential to the effort.”

In the “Army 2020: Generating Health and Discipline in the Force Ahead of the Strategic Reset, Report 2012,” Army leaders have indicated that the increase in child abuse may be connected with the increase of stress on the force.

“Strong Soldiers, civilians, and families know to rethink ways to stay healthy and reach out for help,” said Brandi Stauber, Installation Management Command Europe, Family Advocacy Program manager.

“If you know Army families who are under the kind of stress that may turn to child abuse, lend a hand. Guide that family to the help and support that you know is available. Make a commitment to child abuse prevention by connecting our people with the tools needed to address personal life issues before incidents occur,” Stauber said.

“Tools include such initiatives as the New Parent Support Program that is based on a scientifically supported method of prevention. NPSP provides home visits to new and sometimes inexperienced parents with children under the age of 3 who may need a little extra support,” said Stauber.

Stauber added that NPSP helps not only young families with limited experiences or resources, but more experienced families who are dealing with unique Army family challenges.

The observance of Child Abuse Prevention Month serves to help community members recognize signs of distress and connect families with resources, such as life-skills education and parenting classes. Stauber encouraged Soldiers and their families to participate in their garrison’s Child Abuse Prevention Month activities.

She asks that first line supervisors who are directly engaged with Soldiers and civilians, and indirectly with their Soldier’s families, to encourage those they lead to use support services that are designed to build strong, healthy families.

The Family Advocacy Program is dedicated to the prevention, education, prompt reporting, investigation, intervention and treatment of spouse and child abuse.

The program provides a variety of services to Soldiers and families to enhance their relationship skills and improve their quality of life. This mission is accomplished through a variety of groups, seminars, workshops and counseling and intervention services.

For more information about Child Abuse Prevention Month activities in Stuttgart, call Army Community Service at 431-3328/07031-15-3328.