Texans wear blue on Wednesday to remember the victims of child abuse and neglect.
Child abuse and neglect continue to plague children in Texas, with more than 68,000 victims in the state last year.
In Robertson County, Child Protective Services board members not only wore blue, they also encouraged all courthouse employees in Franklin to do the same.
CPS Board Member Trudy Hancock says to others, "Learn the warning signs of child abuse and neglect. There were 29 confirmed cases in Robertson County in 2009. If you have suspicions that a child is being abused or neglected, listen to your instincts, err on the side of caution and make that anonymous call to report it. We have all have a responsibility to protect our future...our kids."
Hancock also says, "I feel that it is important that the community get involved because these children are our future. Do we want a broken and dysfunctional future or one of hope? We need to insure that the children in foster care have as happy and normal life as possible, so they can pass that down to the next generation."
Some of the most powerful tools we have in the fight against abuse are education about its causes and effects and encouraging people to report suspected abuse. With that in mind, The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) is asking Texans to "Go Blue" on Wednesday, April 7, 2010 by wearing a blue shirt, dress, tie or ribbon as a way to remember the victims and start a conversation about abuse during this Child Abuse Prevention Month.
DPFS realizes that helping parents cope with the challenges of child rearing will help keep children safe. That is why DFPS distributed 500,000 child abuse prevention calendars this year through government offices, child welfare boards, schools, day cares, hospitals, and other social service agencies that work with families. The "Parenting Safari: A Guide to the Journey of a Lifetime" is loaded with great parenting tips like:
- What to do when a baby won't stop crying.
- Dealing with your child's anger.
- Creating a safe sleeping environment for your baby.
The calendar, individual parenting-tips posters, information on recognizing child abuse and neglect, and a wealth of other information for parents and professionals is available for download at www.ItsUptoYou.org
We can all reduce child abuse and its terrible toll by accepting that abuse happens and by taking action when we can. Listen to what children are saying, observe and recognize the signs of child abuse, and don’t assume someone else will do something. It's up to you!
Report suspected abuse or neglect to the Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 1-800-252-5400 or online at www.txabusehotline.org
Last year 280 children in Texas died due to abuse or neglect at the hands of their parents or other caregivers, and a total of 68,326 children were confirmed victims of abuse or neglect. On any given day, approximately 16,000 Texas children are in foster care because they have been victims.
Other issues the youth of Robertson County could face is dealing with substance abuse. To help address the growing concern, a Town Hall meeting is being held in Hearne on Thursday from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.at the Saint Mary's Parish Hall.
A panel of community leaders will field questions from the audience and outline plans for dealing with the problem.