I hope you will join us in our Child Abuse Prevention Month efforts this year.
Child abuse prevention is a year-round focus for our agency, but April is the month set aside to really draw awareness to the problem. Sadly, we are busier than ever in our Children’s Services division.
Certainly the opioid epidemic has played a part in this. But, we are seeing increases in all of the “symptoms” that lead to abuse and neglect: substance abuse (beyond opioids), untreated mental illness, domestic violence and more.
The good news is we are making strides in keeping families together, support for kinship placements and getting the intensive in-home treatment that families need. Still, our community finds itself in the same situation as every other metropolitan community in our nation: child abuse is a persistent problem that requires a collective prevention effort.
We are participating in a statewide effort to raise awareness of child abuse and neglect on Wednesday, April 11. Wear Blue is a statewide awareness campaign for which Ohioans are encouraged to wear blue to work, school or any other activity to show support for preventing child abuse and neglect. Please join us in this effort. If you follow us on social media, we will not only be sharing photos of people wearing blue, but we will also have a contest to award those who most exemplify the purpose behind the effort.
We will also support many of our partners as they host awareness events throughout the month of April. We will help advertise those on social media, too, if you would like to participate.
We need awareness more than ever. We need prevention efforts. We need effective interventions and treatment. We need community support.
Child abuse does not start and stop with our agency. This is a community issue. The numbers are climbing at an alarming rate. If you haven’t thought about it before, please step up now.
Become our eyes and ears in the community and call 241-KIDS when you suspect a child is being abused. Help a struggling family member, friend or neighbor by watching their child when they become stressed. Make sure you are leaving your child with someone who will keep them safe. Mentor a young parent. Mentor a child. Become a foster parent. Adopt a child. Wear blue on April 11.
There are so many ways you can help. We need you.