April marks the time to recognize National Child Abuse Prevention Month and the Blue Bow Campaign. We’re highlighting a handful of sponsors and committee members to learn what the month means to them and why it’s so crucial.

We recently heard from Sherry Cobbins, she is the Community Based Child Abuse Prevention Grants Administrator for DCFS, for her thoughts on this very important month:

Why is Child Abuse Prevention Month so important? Why is it so meaningful to you? 

Child Abuse Prevention month is a time when organizations and communities work together to create and participate in campaigns and activities that promote awareness to child abuse and neglect. It’s meaningful to me because the activities and efforts promote the social, mental, physical and emotional well-being of children and families.

What is your approach to preventing child abuse? How are you helping to prevent it? 

The best approach to combating child abuse is to understand it takes a village working together for the overall safety and care of children. My contribution to reduce child abuse in Illinois is partnering and working with organizations, child welfare agencies, communities, families, courts and all parties involved with children to provide services and resources to address needs and work toward reducing child abuse to children.

What trends/changes have you seen regarding child abuse over the years? What is making a difference in moving the needle? 

Supporting parents, providing resources and educating parents on the Protective Factors is supporting reducing child abuse. Continuous outreach to families and adding parenting programs will work to strengthen families and keep the needle moving in the right direction.

What do you want people to know about preventing child abuse? 

To prevent child abuse, we must develop a “I Care” mentality and become involved when we see there is a need.

How can others help make a difference? 

Others can make a difference by becoming involved with organizations and programs in your community to provide services, talents and time to help children.

What do you do to recognize the month? What does the blue bow mean to you? 

I recognize this month by sharing information from organizations and communities about their child abuse prevention efforts, activities and events. The blue bows are symbolizing awareness and letting people know what this time represents, and that we can all do our fair share.

Thank you to advocates like Sherry who continue spreading the word about child abuse prevention!