April is Child Abuse Prevention Month
EL PASO — More than 200 children died at the hands of their parents or caregivers, and more than 64,000 children were abused or neglected in Texas last year. We can all reduce the terrible toll of child abuse by listening to children and learning the signs of child abuse. That's all according to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS).
Every April they partner with different entities to call attention to how to prevent, recognize, and report child abuse. In El Paso, the following events have been scheduled to help raise public awareness:
April 6th - Saturday 5th Annual Family Fun Fair
9 a.m. - 1 p.m. at Ascarate Park, 6900 Delta Dr.
A proactive approach to child abuse prevention, the Family Fun Fair focuses on strengthening families and our community.
April 10th - Wednesday Go Blue Day Rally
9 a.m. at CPS downtown office, 119 N. Stanton (corner of Texas and Stanton)
Join the grassroots effort of raising awareness and support of prevention efforts by passing out blue ribbons, child abuse prevention information and marching to the County Courthouse.
You can see a list of child abuse prevention events on the events page of www.HelpandHope.org . The organization says stopping abuse after the fact is important - but it's not enough. They're launching ad advertising campaign to help.
Thanks to a federal grant, DFPS is spending $1,000,000 on the campaign from now through the end of the summer. TV ads in English and Spanish are running on stations in all Texas media markets during Child Abuse Prevention Month. The TV spots are also showing on the DFPS You Tube Channel, the campaign website, and as online ads. The online ad campaign runs from mid-March through the end of August.
The Help and Hope campaign also has its own Facebook page called 4MyKid that shares fun and helpful ideas and resources for families.
The ultimate goal of the Help and Hope campaign is to help Texas parents find the help and information they need in their communities to head off child abuse before it happens.
"I heard hundreds of child abuse cases when I was a district judge in San Antonio," said DFPS Commissioner John Specia. "Many of the parents who came through my courtroom were young, poor, and stressed. If we can get parents the support they need up-front, fewer will end up in court needing the help of Child Protective Services."
KTSM NewsChannel 9 is partnering with the Child Crisis Center for Child Abuse Prevention Month. The station is running awareness spots and will feature stories on child abuse awareness throughout the month.
Report your suspicions to the Texas Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 1-800-252-5400 or online at TxAbuseHotline.org.
Key Statistics (fiscal year 2012)
• 7,054,634 Texas child population (244,164 - El Paso County)
• 166,211 # of completed CPS investigations (4,462 - El Paso County)
• 64,366 # of child abuse and or neglect victims (2,081 - El Paso County)
• 16,972 # of children removed from their homes due to abuse/neglect (176 - EPC)
• 212 # of abuse/neglect child deaths (3- El Paso County)
• 2,447 # families served by DFPS prevention programs
• 49,007 # of youth served by DFPS prevention programs
DFPS Hotlines and Websites
• Abuse and Neglect Hotline: 1-800-252-5400 or TxAbuseHotline.org
• Child Abuse Prevention: HelpandHope.org
• Texas Runaway Hotline (1-888-580-HELP) & website: TexasRunAway.org
• Texas Youth Hotline (1-800-210-2278) & website: TexasYouth.org
• Adoption: AdoptChildren.org
• Infant Sleeping Death Prevention: BabyRoomToBreathe.org
• DFPS website : www.dfps.state.tx.us