University of Rochester

Mt. Hope Family Center Supports Efforts to Build Healthy Families During National Child Abuse Prevention Month

April 8, 2010

To mark National Child Abuse Prevention Month in April, the University of Rochester's Mt. Hope Family Center is urging Rochester-area organizations to raise awareness of and support for local programs that prevent maltreatment and build healthy families.

"We now have clinically proven therapies for helping troubled families avoid the tragedy of child abuse," says Sheree Toth, executive director of the center. "This month is a great opportunity to remind the community that our children don't have to be traumatized. Our innovative programs that assist parent and child to establish a close, connected relationship and encourage appreciation for the child's developmental level have been shown to help struggling parents avoid abuse."

As part of the month's campaign, the center invites organizations to host their own awareness day. The center will provide interested companies and groups with blue jean pins and tent card signs telling customers and employees about the significance of denim at their business. Participants are asked to donate $5 for the pins or for the chance to wear jeans to work. All proceeds will support the abuse prevention programs at the center. To join the effort and for more information, contact Sarah Smith at (585) 275-2991, ext. 238, or

Founded in 1979, Mt. Hope Family Center is one of the nation's leading research sites for the study of trauma on child development and family relationships and one of the region's most valuable resources for children and parents in crisis, helping more than 800 families annually. This fall, the center was selected to join the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, a federally funded partnership of academic and community-based centers aimed at improving care for children and families struggling with abuse, neglect, community violence, and other forms of trauma.