It takes a community to prevent child abuse, neglect

Preventing child abuse and neglect is a community concern. That’s the driving theme behind National Child Abuse Prevention Month, which raises awareness of the need for families and communities to work together to end the cycle.

Meredith Keppel is the parenting coordinator at the Central Shenandoah Valley Office on Youth, which offers a variety of programs for parents of young children, pre-teens and teens.

The focus for individual families is to emphasize to parents to “try to be more empathetic, sympathetic, with your child, and to think about the potential consequences,” Keppel said.

The program offerings from the Office on Youth cover a gamut of different life situations. For Kids Sake is a program specific to situations involving parental divorce and separation with the goal of providing parents, step-parents and grandparents knowledge and skills to nurture their children through the difficult process of family divorce or separation.

Loving Solutions is for parents and other caregivers of challenging 4-11 year olds. The class helps parents determine what issues are negotiable, using time-outs effectively, chore cooperation, sibling relationships, and improving school success and information on ADD/ADHD.

Love and Logic teaches simple, effective techniques, focusing on how to replace anger with empathy and allowing natural, logical consequences to do the teaching.

“Yelling and screaming is not the answer. Spanking is not the answer. Time out is always the better route,” Keppel said. “The better approach is always to be calm in dealing with your children. Dealing with a child in anger is never the right way to go. You need to take anger out of the equation.”

– Story by Chris Graham

Wear Blue on April 13

wear-bluePLEDGE TO WEAR BLUE on April 13th to show your commitment to keep kids safe!

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month; in support, Prevent Child Abuse Virginia invites you to WEAR BLUE on Monday, April 13th, 2015! On this day, individuals and organizations across Virginia will band together to make a visible commitment to preventing child abuse and supporting strong families and healthy children throughout the Commonwealth.

One person can make a difference, and it can start with you!  On April 13th, WEAR BLUE anywhere – to work, to school, a community event, the gym, and even at home.  Invite your friends, family, students, co-workers or even your entire office to WEAR BLUE too! It doesn’t matter if its a blue shirt or blue suede shoes, the unified, community-wide act of wearing blue will help raise awareness that child abuse is preventable.


  1. Wear Blue on April 13th!
  2. Share your commitment with family, friends and co-workers and encourage them to WEAR BLUE too!
  3. Take a picture of yourself, your group, class, or company wearing blue and share it on our Facebook page (and your page as well), share it ontwitter, and  e-mail it to Use the #WearBlueVA


In the spring of 1989, a grandmother from Virginia began the blue ribbon campaign as a tribute to her grandson, a three-year old who died at the hands of his mother’s abusive boyfriend. Since that time, concerned citizens all over the country have worn blue as a symbol of the need to prevent child abuse and neglect.