Everyone can play a part in preventing child abuse. That’s the main message of Child abuse and Neglect Prevention Month activities being promoted in April by the Champaign County Department of Job and Family Services (CCDJFS), with support from the Ohio Children’s Trust Fund.
CCDJFS is encouraging Champaign County residents to participate in the campaign to raise awareness of how child abuse prevention is a shared, community-wide responsibility. The agency has planned three specific events and activities for the month:
Wear Blue to Work April 13
CCDJFS is encouraging Champaign County residents to wear blue to work on April 13, to symbolize community support of child abuse prevention. Last year, 982 people from several local businesses and organizations registered their participation in Wear Blue to Work Day.
To participate this year, organizations and businesses may call Amber Spence, child protective services supervisor of CCDJFS, at 937-484-1500, ext. 2754.
“Through this activity we want to demonstrate our community’s united support and role in preventing child abuse and making our community a safe place for children,” Spence said.
She added that throughout the year, community members take an active role in protecting children by reporting suspected child abuse or neglect to CCDJFS at 937-484-1500, or by calling 911 when a child is in immediate danger.
In 2015, CCDJFS investigated and/or assessed a total of 264 reports of suspected child abuse and neglect. In addition, the department coordinates and delivers services to help families provide a safe, loving home for their children.
#PinwheelSelfie social media campaign
Throughout April, CCDJFS encourages local residents to join in the statewide #PinwheelSelfie social media campaign being promoted by the Ohio Children’s Trust Fund.
Take a selfie by yourself or with friends, relatives, coworkers or fellow church or club members and post it on Facebook (Ohio Children’s Trust Fund), Instagram (@OhioCTF) and Twitter (@OhioCTF) with a child abuse prevention message and the #PinwheelSelfie hashtag. Also include a pinwheel in the photo. Prevent Child Abuse America introduced pinwheels in 2008 as a national symbol for child abuse prevention through Pinwheels for Prevention®. Pinwheel selfies may also be emailed to Ohio_Children’s_Trust_Fund@jfs.ohio.gov.
For more information about the #PinwheelSelfie Campaign, visit jfs.ohio.gov/OCTF/CAPM.stm.
Rising Up/Moving On Breakfast is April 28
CCDJFS will host the annual Rising Up/Moving On community breakfast to honor local youth who have risen from adversity and adults who excel in advocating for local youth and families.
The breakfast will be held Thursday, April 28 at 7:45 a.m. at the Champaign County Community Center Auditorium, 1512 S. U.S. 68, Urbana.
CCDJFS has received numerous nominations for the following three awards, which will be presented at the breakfast:
• Rising Up/Moving On Award for a youth who has faced adversity and risen from it
• Youth Advocate Award for an adult who has risen above the call to improve the lives of children and families
• Rising Star Award for a parent who, as an advocate for the betterment of all children, is a rising star in the community
Rising Up/Moving on also will feature a presentation by Carla Carpenter, bureau chief of systems and practice advancement at the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. She will focus on the role of communities in helping to improve the stability of families and the lives of children. “It takes a community working together,” Spence explained.
CCDJFS’s Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month activities are being supported by the Ohio Children’s Trust Fund, Ohio’s sole, dedicated public funding source for child abuse and neglect prevention.