The Long Beach Child Abuse and Neglect Network (LBCANN), in partnership with the City of Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services (Health Department), has created a website for parents to quickly and easily access resources to help them improve family life. The website, www.LBUnplug.org, is the newest iteration of LBCANN’s “Unplug” campaign.
“We are privileged to live in an age of advanced technology and digital media,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “But with that progress comes a great deal of responsibility, especially to our children. There is a special quality to human connection that cannot be replaced by smartphones and tablets. The City of Long Beach is proud to have collaborated with LBCANN on the development of LBUnplug.org which provides great resources that will help parents strengthen relationships in their home.”
The website, designed in English, Spanish, Tagalog, and Khmer, includes a frequently asked questions (FAQs) section about children’s behavior and parenting challenges, and provides links to parenting resources for positive discipline, common issues like how to handle excessive crying and identifying healthy developmental milestones. Also, in an attempt to encourage families to “unplug” from screens and spend quality time with their children, the site includes a list of links to low- and no-cost activities in and around Long Beach.
“Parent education and support is essential in providing safe and nurturing homes for children. The Unplug website provides great resources for parents of young children, and is one way LBCANN and the Health Department are working to reduce the number of children exposed to abuse and neglect,” said Kelly Colopy, Director of the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services.
According to the Department of Child and Family Services South County Office, summer poses challenges that parents are not always prepared for. Incidents of reported child abuse tend to go up for families who do not have an established routine. For example, regular trips to the parks, museums, movies or the beach help ease tension in the household.
“Now is a great time to slow down and connect with your children,” said Julie Turvey, LBCANN Chair and Community Services Administrator with ChildNet Youth and Family Services. “This season can be a frustrating and challenging time for parents. We want them to know that there are supportive agencies and activities happening this summer that can improve their relationship with their child.”
With funding from First 5 LA, LBCANN aims to strengthen systems and community responses to prevent child abuse, neglect, and other forms of violence in Long Beach homes, with an emphasis on children ages five and younger and other vulnerable youth.