Child Abuse Prevention Month and COVID-19

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month. Usually, this is a time for nonprofits and supporting organizations to promote the support systems which strengthen and educate families on parenting, healthy relationships, and managing stress. As always, Hoyleton Youth and Family Services is standing with our families and communities as we shelter-in-place together because of COVID-19. 

Hoyleton is taking every precaution to protect the youth in our care. Our case managers are concerned about the emotional and physical needs of our youth and continue to check on their well-being daily through video conferencing and sometimes by standing outside a window or on the front porch. Hoyleton’s Counseling and Care team continue to advocate for the mental health of the families and individuals we support.  We are aware that families are making difficult decisions because of a lack of resources. 

While living in isolation is our new “normal,” it requires understanding what factors we can control. Managing stress is important and a necessary part of preventing abuse. Be mindful of stress signals:

• Feelings of anger or irritation
• Feelings of hopelessness
• Crying easily
• Arguing with your partner or children
• Overeating or not eating
• Changes in sleep patterns

Communication and self-awareness are essential. Reach out to individuals if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed. Challenge yourself to focus on the present moment and not the next day or the unknown. Stay connected to friends and neighbors by using technology to break down the barriers erected because of isolation. Have a FaceTime call over dinner with friends, family, or co-workers to stay connected. 

Together, we will get through this. We see you, we hear you, we understand your fears and anxiety. Hoyleton is here to provide support and be a means of hope. We are all in this together. If you or a loved one needs assistance, please call Hoyleton Youth and Family Services at 618.688.4744.

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