Approximately 300 business community leaders and friends of PB&J gathered at the National Hispanic Cultural Center on April 7th to share a meal and learn about PB&J Family Services’ approach to Child Abuse Prevention and to support positive outcomes for children and families. Attendees returned to the heart of the program with a modest meal of a peanut butter & jelly sandwich sack lunch and table conversations focused on how challenged families are overcoming barriers in order to break the multi-generational cycles of child maltreatment, addiction, incarceration, and how local and state systems can unite in defining their roles in child abuse prevention.
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. This month and throughout the year, PB&J encourages all individuals and organizations to play a role in making New Mexico a better place for children and families. By ensuring that parents have the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to care for their children, we can help promote children’s social and emotional well-being and prevent child maltreatment within families and communities. Research shows that when parents possess six caring factors, the risk for neglect and abuse lessens and optimal outcomes for children, youth, and families are encouraged.
The six protective factors are:
- Nurturing and attachment
- Knowledge of parenting and of child and youth development
- Parental resilience
- Social connections
- Concrete supports for parents
- Social and emotional developmental well-being
For 44 years, PB&J has been working with the highest need families in the greater Albuquerque area: children who are at risk of abuse/neglect due to multiple adverse childhood experiences (ACE) and the need for a coordinated child abuse prevention system. 100% of PB&J families live under the Federal Poverty Line and 85% are referred by CYFD. “We have worked with tens of thousands of families in the last 44 years and we do this work in partnership with our community and business leaders. April is a time to celebrate the strengths of our families and the important role that communities play in protecting children. Our annual luncheon gives us opportunity to get together and discuss the powerful gains made by families who are offered opportunities and positive supports.” says Susannah Burke, Executive Director.
The 3rd Annual Brown Bag Luncheon is underwritten by a donation from Citi. One-hundred percent of the proceeds from the luncheon go to needed services. Citi has supported PB&J Family Services since the 1990’s, when they provided gifts for a dozen families for Christmas. Involvement grew when PB&J developed a strategy to support entrepreneurs and Citi provided mentorship and a grant which launched the project. “Child development and education are vital for our community. Our relationship with PB&J and our sponsorship of the Brown Bag Luncheon allow us not only to support their programs, but to help keep the community involved and informed about their efforts and successes,” says Melissa Briggs, Citi. The event was also sponsored by The Thornburg Foundation, Brindle Foundation, The Vargas Law Firm, Ray Vargas, and Mary Behm