HARRISBURG, Pa., April 5, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, in acknowledgement of Child Abuse Prevention Month, members of the Wolf Administration joined commonwealth representatives and community advocacy groups in the capitol rotunda the first annual PA Blue Ribbon Champion Awards Ceremony and Rally for Kids. The event was part of a campaign to encourage individuals to recognize and report suspected cases of child abuse.
As part of the ceremony, the Department of Human Services (DHS) ChildLine staff and county children and youth caseworkers were honored for their diligent efforts to protect children.
"The safety and well-being of all of Pennsylvania's children is a priority for the department, as well as the administration," said DHS Secretary Ted Dallas. "The work that ChildLine and county caseworkers perform daily is critical to preserving the future of Pennsylvania. We must continue to be the voice for these individuals who are often unable to be heard. All Pennsylvanians have an obligation to protect and keep our children safe."
The administration believes that protecting Pennsylvania's children from abuse and neglect is a vitally important responsibility. The cause unites lawmakers, community partners, the child protective services system, citizens, and families to provide a safe environment for children throughout Pennsylvania.
In partnership with counties, schools, and community organizations, the department is promoting evidence-based programs that give parents the skills and supports, both formal and informal, that they need to prevent child abuse and neglect. By working together and relying on natural supports like family members and neighbors, we can improve outcomes for families and protect our children.
During the month of April, DHS headquarters will display the Children's Memorial Flag in honor of children who have died as a result of child abuse or neglect. The department encourages all Pennsylvanians to wear or display blue ribbons as a way to signify the importance of child abuse prevention. For other events around Child Abuse Prevention Month, visit www.pa-fsa.org/Calendar.
To report suspected child abuse or neglect, DHS offers an around-the-clock, toll-free hotline, ChildLine (1-800-932-0313). For more information on critical components impacting child protection, visit www.KeepKidsSafe.pa.gov.
To learn more about the #PABlueRibbonChamp campaign, visit www.pablueribbonchampion.org.
MEDIA CONTACT: Rachel Kostelac, 717-425-7606
CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION MONTH
WHEREAS, every child in the Commonwealth deserves to be cared for by adults who provide love, protection and a safe environment; and
WHEREAS, protected and unharmed childhoods produce self-assured and successful adults; and
WHEREAS, children who are abused and neglected can become permanently disabled and psychologically distressed adults, experiencing problems with substance abuse, crime or domestic violence against others, including their own children; and
WHEREAS, in Pennsylvania, 4,203 reports of child abuse were substantiated in 2015; and
WHEREAS, child abuse includes physical and psychological wounds inflicted upon a child, and abuse survivors wear physical and emotional scars for the rest of their lives; and
WHEREAS, protecting children against abuse and neglect requires the involvement of everyone—a combined effort is imperative to help families break the chains of abuse; and
WHEREAS, many dedicated organizations continue to work in cooperation with federal and state governments to increase public awareness and promote individual and community action as they strive to eradicate this devastating form of violence, protect children, and help build healthy families and communities where children can reach their potential.
THEREFORE, I, Tom Wolf, Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, do hereby proclaim April 2017 as CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION MONTH in Pennsylvania and encourage all citizens to cherish our children and join in protecting them from all forms of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse.
GIVEN under my hand and the Seal of the Governor, at the City of Harrisburg, on this thirteenth day of March two thousand and seventeen, the year of the Commonwealth the two hundred and forty-first.
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Human Services