Making connections important to preventing child abuse

To the Editor:

Did you know that simple moments with the kids in our lies — like cooking with them, playing a board game with them, even singing with them — makes a big difference? It helps them grow up feeling safe and secure, filling our communities with compassionate, caring people which makes us all stronger and healthier.

High levels of toxic stress in childhood can have a profound impact on a child’s developing brain, increasing the likelihood of problems throughout a lifetime including depression, diabetes and heart disease. An Iowa study of Adverse Childhood Experiences found that more than half of Iowa adults have experienced at least one type of abuse or household dysfunction growing up.

However, social supports and caring connections strengthen families, mitigating the negative outcomes of childhood trauma and reduces the risk of child abuse or neglect. That is why Building Families in partnership with our local Prevent Child Abuse Council works to build caring connections in Hamilton, Humboldt and Wright Counties. Through this effort, we can let everyone know that fostering connections with the children in their lives matters and that goes a long way to developing healthy minds and strong communities.

This April, Building Families, Parent Connection, Take a Break, the HHW Prevent Child Abuse Council and Prevent Child Abuse Iowa invite you to join us in taking action to advance this message through individual or community engagement. Attend a community workshop or host a Darkness to Light training on child Sexual Abuse Prevention or Connections Matter — an evidence-based framework on implementing trauma informed practices. Reach out to a neighbor, plan a neighborhood potluck to get to know others, help out with a Scout group, volunteer with our program, or support our continued work through a donation in the name of child abuse prevention.

You can also join the HHW Prevent Child Abuse Council in celebrating Child Abuse Prevention Month by joining us at our second annual Family Scavenger Hunt on April 29 from 10 a.m. to noon in Humboldt at the Legion Building. “Pinwheels for Prevention: are also for sale at the Humboldt Hy-Vee. All proceeds are put directly into programs and services for children and families. To learn more, contact Angela Wesselink, Parent Connection coordinator, at (515)293-0652; Michelle Walters, Building Families director at (515)602-6371, ext. 1; or Kelly Bowman, Take a Break coordinator, at (319)572-1047.

Together we can give our children the foundation they need to reach their full potential and as a result, build a community that is safer, healthier and more prosperous overall, because connections matter. Learn more at or

Michelle Walters, Webster City

Kathy Getting, Williams

Angela Wesselink, Eagle Grove,

Katie Talbot, Webster City

Lori Price, Webster City.