News Release

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

Advertising campaign aims to stop child abuse before it happens

For Immediate Release: April 1, 2013
Contact: DFPS Media Specialists

More than 200 children died at the hands of their parents or caregivers, and more than 64,000 children were abused or neglected in Texas last year.  We can all reduce the terrible toll of child abuse by listening to children and learning the signs of child abuse.

Child abuse and neglect destroys families, scars children, and undermines communities. That's why the Texas Department of  Family and Protective Services (DFPS) teams with local governments and groups every April to call attention to how to prevent, recognize, and report child abuse. Read the Governor's proclamation.

See a list of child abuse prevention events on the Events Page of HelpandHope.org.

"When parents hurt, kids get hurt…
When parents get help, there's hope for kids!"

Stopping abuse after the fact is important - but it's not enough. We need to stop it before it starts!  That's what the Help for Parents, Hope for Kids campaign is all about.

Thanks to a federal grant, DFPS is spending $1,000,000 on the campaign from now through the end of the summer. TV ads in English and Spanish are running on stations in all Texas media markets during Child Abuse Prevention Month. The TV spots are also showing on the DFPS You Tube Channel, the campaign website, and as online ads. The online ad campaign runs from mid-March through the end of August. This advertising buy specifically targets young parents and especially young mothers.

The Help and Hope campaign also has its own Facebook page called HelpandHopeKids that shares fun and helpful ideas and resources for families. And, DFPS distributed more than 500,000 copies of the 2013 Child Abuse Prevention Calendar that parents can still download from HelpandHope.org (in both English and Spanish).

The ultimate goal of the Help and Hope campaign is to help Texas parents find the help and information they need in their communities to head off child abuse before it happens. That is why HelpandHope.org is designed to connect people to services and resources in their communities.

"I heard hundreds of child abuse cases when I was a district judge in San Antonio," said DFPS Commissioner John Specia. "Many of the parents who came through my courtroom were young, poor, and stressed.  If we can get parents the support they need up-front, fewer will end up in court needing the help of Child Protective Services."  

The DFPS' Prevention and Early Intervention program provided services to 20,831 Texas families last year, with 99.6 percent staying safe. While prevention is best, always report child abuse or neglect. Don't count on someone else to do something.  Report your suspicions to the Texas Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 1-800-252-5400 or online at TxAbuseHotline.org.

Key Statistics (fiscal year 2012)

  • 7,054,634        Texas child population
  • 166,211           # of completed CPS investigations
  • 64,366             # of child abuse and or neglect victims
  • 16,972             # of children removed from their homes due to abuse/neglect
  • 212                  # of abuse/neglect child deaths
  • 2,447               # families served by DFPS prevention programs
  • 49,007             # of youth served by DFPS prevention program

See DFPS Data Book and Annual Reports on the DFPS website for more statistics.  

DFPS Hotlines and Websites