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For Release: March 25, 2014 - Pamela Williams, Office of Communications – (405) 271-5601
Communities Urged to Help Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect
“It’s Your Turn – Be a Superhero for Children”
Small, positive actions can make a difference in the life of a child. The focus for this year’s annual Child Abuse Prevention (CAP) Month activities in April is to highlight actions each of us can take to help raise safe, healthy, resilient children. Child advocates and the general public will be encouraged to step up and “Be a Superhero for a Child!” during CAP Day at the State Capitol on Tuesday, April 8. From 8 a.m. till noon that day, booth displays and special activities will focus on building supportive community and family environments that help children grow and develop into productive citizens. This observance is made even more important considering the latest statistics from the Oklahoma Department of Human Services that indicate child abuse confirmations have risen the last three years in Oklahoma, with 11,418 cases confirmed in state fiscal year 2013.
Among the activities offered during CAP Day at the State Capitol will be a “Save a Baby’s Bottom” diaper drive, directed by Infant Crisis Services. Diapers of all sizes may be dropped off from 8 a.m. till noon at the second floor rotunda. “Every day, thousands of Oklahoma parents are forced to choose between buying diapers and providing basic necessities for themselves and their children,” said Miki Farris, executive director of the Infant Crisis Services. “We encourage everyone to get involved and be a superhero for the children and families of Oklahoma by the simple act of contributing a box of diapers.”
Beginning at 1 p.m. on April 8, the fourth annual CAP Day Mini Conference will be held at the Samis Education and Conference Center located at 1200 Children’s Avenue in Oklahoma City. While space is limited, the afternoon sessions will include free workshops open to the public who pre-register, featuring a variety of topics and well-respected speakers with expertise in child abuse prevention. To reserve a space for the conference contact Sherie Trice at firstname.lastname@example.org or (405) 271-7611.
“We hope those who can attend these events will do so. Prevention is key to reducing the number of victims of child abuse and neglect. Providing new strategies and fresh ideas for participants to take back to their community goes a long way in working effectively with parents,” said Annette Jacobi, chief of the Family Support and Prevention Service at the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH).
Sherie Trice, OSDH community-based child abuse prevention grant coordinator added, “Communities are encouraged to build a Blue Ribbon Tree as another way to participate in Child Abuse Prevention Month activities. Individuals can help by using words of praise and encouragement to a child or the caregiver, listening carefully to what a child has to say, showing that you care, and saying ‘I love you.’ These actions can have a positive impact on a child’s growth and development.”
The OSDH offers the following parenting tips:
Finally, the OSDH encourages everyone to get involved with local activities related to Child Abuse Prevention Month using the theme “It’s Your Turn – Be a Superhero for Children,” including the following:
For general information about CAP Month activities, to request posters for your community, and to discover ways to get involved, call the county health department in your area or contact Sherie Trice at (405) 271-7611.
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