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Base spotlights child abuse prevention

Chrisan Smith, a Family Advocacy Outreach and Prevention Program manager, is dedicated to promoting “Strong Communities Strengthen Families," as April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Chrisan Smith, a Family Advocacy Outreach and Prevention Program manager, is dedicated to promoting “Strong Communities Strengthen Families," as April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, New Mexico -- April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, a month when as a nation we pay attention to the needs of children and focus on preventing child abuse and neglect. This year the Department of Defense theme is “Strong Communities Strengthen Families.” 

Chrisan Smith, a Family Advocacy Outreach and Prevention Program manager, is dedicated to promoting that theme this April.

“My primary focus is on strengthening the community for our youngest members, our zero to three years-old population,” Smith said. “I will be promoting our New Parent Support Program with different activities throughout the month.” 

The keys and tools to building a healthy community and avoiding child abuse and neglect aren’t only available in April. 

“I teach parenting classes each quarter that are open to all of Team Kirtland, provide the Dads 101 class for first time fathers, organize the Kirtland AFB Playgroup, and work individually with parents on specific issues they may experience with their kids,” Smith said. “I also brief every new commander and first sergeant along with wing leadership about our prevention programs and the prevalence or types of child abuse and neglect we see in their specific units.”

One thing Smith hopes all parents will remember is small actions can make a big difference. 

“Put down the phone, hug your kids and participate in your community,” Smith said. “Strengthening communities requires it. When you touch someone’s life, you strengthen them as well as yourself. Use the many resources you have here and help a parent you can see struggling.”