April 1 marks the beginning of Child Abuse Prevention Month. This month is a time to recognize that we all have a role in promoting the social and emotional well-being of children and families in our communities.
Since 1989, the national Blue Bow Campaign has existed to raise awareness of child abuse and prevention. The Illinois Blue Bow Committee, run by Children’s Home & Aid and a partnership of social and community service organizations, has annually hosted dozens of events throughout the month of April—the nation’s Child Abuse Prevention Month.
Our hope is that these events is will bring attention to the pervasiveness of child abuse in Illinois and to educate the public about resources available in our communities to help parents and children prevent abuse. Last year in Illinois, 34,594 children were confirmed abused or neglected and 5,654 children were taken into protective custody.
Earl Kloppmann is the Children’s Home & Aid Program Manager of Parents Care & Share. He leads the Blue Bow Campaign each April and believes we can always do more to raise awareness.
Earl says, “The Blue Bow Campaign is incredibly important because the public has little awareness about how serious of a problem child abuse and neglect is in Illinois. Thirty to forty years ago, child abuse and neglect awareness messaging was more prominent. We are trying to bring its awareness back on the radar. We are trying to get the message out that there is a solution. There are six protective factors that make parents strong and prevent child abuse and neglect. These qualities can be easily learned and practiced by everyone!”
The six qualities in parents that have been proven to prevent child abuse and neglect:
- Be strong and flexible
- Develop friendships with others for support
- Keep learning parenting knowledge and skills
- Seek help in times of need
- Help your child communicate socially and emotionally
- Give your child the love and respect they need
Blue Bow events will take place statewide – join us! For more information on events throughout Illinois and more, visit: https://www.childrenshomeandaid.org/bluebow/