HARRISBURG, Pa., April 12, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --Today, in acknowledgement of Child Abuse Prevention Month, members of the Wolf Administration joined commonwealth representatives and community advocacy groups at the annual Child Abuse Prevention Month Legislature Breakfast, hosted by Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance. The theme of this year's event is "Celebrating Our Partners for Change" to acknowledge the profound efforts improving the lives and safety of Pennsylvania's children.
"All of us have an obligation to provide children with a sense of safety and security as they grow into adults," said DHS Secretary Ted Dallas. "It will take all of us working together to successfully keep kids safe."
The Department of Human Services (DHS) 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.
"Keeping children safe is a critical part of our mission at DHS," said Secretary Dallas. "We must be the voice of those who cannot speak for themselves and Pennsylvania's children need us to do everything we can to protect them today and in the future."
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.
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, 3,340 reports of child abuse were substantiated in 2014; 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 2016 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 ninth day of March in the Year of our Lord two thousand and sixteen, and of the Commonwealth, the two hundred and fortieth.
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Human Services