Lakeland, FL – Every one of us shares a responsibility for the well-being of children and families in and around Polk County. Because April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, it’s the perfect time to help each other understand that simple actions can make a big impact to help families and their community thrive.
Lakeland Regional Health collaborates with Heartland for Children to support the children and families in our community. To promote community awareness, lights at our Carol Jenkins Barnett Pavilion for Women and Children are turned blue throughout this month.
“Our children are our most treasured assets. At Lakeland Regional Health, we are committed to providing high-quality care and education to the children, women and families in our community,” said Janet Fansler, DNP, RN, CENP, Lakeland Regional Health Chief Nurse Executive and Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center Executive Vice President. “As such, we avidly share with parents, grandparents and caregivers the most up-to-date guidelines for safe sleeping, proper car seat installation, bike safety and drowning prevention and encourage family discussions about bullying, substance abuse and body safety.”
Heartland for Children is a private, not-for-profit agency charged with overseeing the foster care system in Hardee, Highlands and Polk Counties, currently serving more than 2,000 children. In this role, Heartland for Children is committed to providing help to families before harm occurs and thus works with community partners toward strengthening all families in our local communities.
“We know that most parents in our community want to do what’s best for their children and that every parent needs help at some point. During National Child Abuse Prevention Month, we encourage our local community to learn how they can each play a part in strengthening families and keeping children safe,” Teri Saunders, CEO with Heartland for Children.
Some ideas on how you can help a child and support parents:
- Volunteer for an after-school reading program or book club.
- Love to cook? Give a new mom a break by bringing over dinner.
- Coach a youth sports team to teach kids the value of teamwork.
- Organize a family-friendly barbecue or block party to give parents an opportunity to socialize without having to find a sitter and the chance to develop a support network of neighbors and friends.
- Support policies and programs that promote safe, healthy childhoods.
Those in our community who have a reasonable cause to suspect child abuse or neglect should call the child abuse hotline at 1.800.96.ABUSE.
About Lakeland Regional Health
Not-for-profit Lakeland Regional Health reaches beyond its hospital walls to promote wellness, education and discovery in new places and new ways, providing a wide range of inpatient and outpatient healthcare services at its Medical Center, Hollis Cancer Center and ambulatory care locations. Lakeland Regional Health earned Most Wired Advanced and Most Wired status four times since 2013 from the American Hospital Association and has earned workplace awards from Forbes, Gallup and Becker’s Hospital Review. Its 864-bed comprehensive tertiary referral hospital, Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center, operates the Jack and Tina Harrell Family Institute for Advanced Cardiovascular Medicine; a Level II Trauma Center; the Carol Jenkins Barnett Pavilion for Women and Children, which includes a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit; and the Bannasch Institute for Advanced Rehabilitation Medicine.