April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.
Each year, nearly three million reports of suspected child abuse are filed in the United States, but still it is estimated that more than 70% of abuse goes unreported. In fiscal year 2014 alone, nearly 110,000 counts of child abuse were reported in Illinois. As the largest foster care provider in Southern Illinois, Caritas Family Solutions serves more than 1,200 abused and neglected children annually. It is our job as a child welfare agency to advocate for children and we need your help. This year, we are partnering with individuals, organizations and businesses to distribute “Blue Kids”.
What are “Blue Kids”?
“Blue Kids” are derived from the Blue Ribbon Campaign that began in 1989 as one woman’s tribute to her grandson. She tied a blue ribbon to her car antenna to symbolize her grandson’s death at the hands of his mother’s abusive partner. In addition to creating awareness, the Blue Ribbon Campaign also focuses on educating individuals and groups on how to better protect children in their community from child abuse. Similarly, “Blue Kids” symbolize abused and neglected children and are used to bring attention to this growing problem that takes place in our own communities.
How Can You Help?
This month and throughout the year, we encourage everyone to play a role in making Southern Illinois a better place for children and families. April is a time to acknowledge the important role that communities play in protecting children.
We are partnering with local businesses, churches and organizations in the Metro East to distribute “Blue Kids” to individuals who make a donation of $5 or more. The Blue Kid cards will be displayed at local establishments and at our Headquarters Office in Belleville.
Caritas Family Solutions is partnering with other organizations in a walk to bring awareness to Child Abuse Prevention Month. The Caritas Regional Office in Mt. Vernon will team with The Amy Center, CASA of Jefferson County, Lutheran Child and Family Services, AmeriCorps Land of Lincoln, Lifeboat Alliance, One Hope United, United Way, DCFS and United Methodist Children’s Home to sponsor the 5th Annual Child Abuse Prevention Walk on Friday, April 21, 2017 at the Jefferson County Courthouse from 12:00 noon to 1:30 p.m. Participants are encouraged to wear blue to show their support.