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April Marks Child Abuse Prevention Month Across the Nation

For Release: March 27, 2017 – Cody McDonell, Office of Communications – (405) 271-5601

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH), along with its networking partners, is working to raise awareness about the importance of ensuring great childhoods for all Oklahoma children. Organizations across the state are working together to host events that demonstrate their commitment to preventing child abuse and promoting a brighter future for Oklahoma children.

Thousands of Oklahoma children suffer abuse and neglect each year. According to a report by the Oklahoma State Department of Human Services, in 2016 there were 15,187 substantiated child abuse and neglect victims in Oklahoma. These statistics are a reminder that every possible effort needs to be made in preventing child abuse in Oklahoma.

“We encourage every citizen to ‘do one thing’ when it comes to protecting children and strengthening families. Even small gestures like being kind and supportive to parents challenged in public and/or assisting parents by offering help (i.e. reading a book to a child in the waiting room, providing an extra set of hands at the supermarket, or offering respite for parents experiencing tough challenges),” said Sherie Trice, OSDH Community Based Child Abuse Prevention Grant Coordinator. “These efforts are instrumental in helping families reduce stress and make life just a little easier.”

There are numerous events and activities across the state to support National Child Abuse Prevention Month:

Build a Blue Ribbon Tree for Kids Campaign

Find a tree in a highly visible location and add blue ribbon for the number of new babies born in your community; or number of children abused and neglected in your county; or to represent something that shows your support for children. Remember to register your tree and invite the media and public for a kickoff event. Visit this link for more information: https://go.usa.gov/xX82B

Happiest Day Coloring Challenge

Children are encouraged to simply draw or color their “happiest day”. Children may work individually or in a group with family or as a class. Parents and teachers are encouraged to share these pictures on social media using #PictureaBrighterFuture. For more information, visit this link: https://go.usa.gov/xX82K

Wear Blue Selfie Day

Friday, April 7th is designated as the day to wear blue to help promote and strengthen child abuse prevention efforts in communities. Share your best selfie with others and ask your co-workers to join you! Post your BLUE picture on social media using #PictureaBrighterFuture.

Child Abuse Prevention Awards of Excellence Ceremony

Tuesday, April 11th, 11 a.m., Blue Room, Oklahoma State Capitol honoring excellence in prevention.  

24th Oklahoma Child Abuse and Neglect Conference

OSDH Family and Prevention Services and the University of Oklahoma Center on Child Abuse and Neglect are co-sponsoring this event. Visit this link for more information:  http://ow.ly/9Xhz30acl0q

Connect families with parentPRO

Families can connect with parentPRO to receive free parenting support delivered in their homes. Specially trained professionals, who teach parents how to reduce stress, provide parenting tips, teach child development, and connect them with additional services and resources if necessary. To learn more, go to parentpro.org or call (877) 271-7611. 

Get involved with Prevent Child Abuse Oklahoma by calling Parent Promise at (405) 232-2500.

Volunteer to serve on the statewide CAP ACTION Committee and to help with future activities by emailing sheriet@health.ok.gov.

For additional information about child abuse prevention or how to get involved with other activities in your community, contact your local county health department or Sherie Trice at (405) 271-7611.

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