The public is invited to join the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, Prevent Child Abuse Illinois, other child welfare stakeholders, elected officials and more for a month long observance that is a public call to action during National Child Abuse Prevention Month in April.
“The impact of abuse and neglect on a child can take a lifetime to heal and that’s where we as a community can help,” said Illinois DCFS Director George H. Sheldon. “Not only do we need to intercede and find help for a family in crisis but we need to help prevent child abuse by building awareness that it can happen in any family. By getting involved, one person can positively impact a child’s life forever.”
It is estimated that thousands of cases of abuse go unreported every year. The impact of abuse on children manifests itself in many ways. Children may experience a range of emotional, psychological and physical problems and trauma as a result of being abused or neglected. Abused and neglected children are more likely to be self-destructive or aggressive, to abuse drugs and/or alcohol or become young offenders.
During the month of April and throughout the year, Illinois DCFS encourages communities to share child abuse and neglect prevention awareness messages and to help promote prevention efforts across the country.
To heighten awareness, Illinois DCFS will host events across the state to mark the occasion (see list below). All events are open to the public. For more information about the events, and to learn how you can help, call the Illinois DCFS communications office at 312-814-6847.
Monday, April 3 through Friday, April 7, 2017
Chicago Art Exhibit
James R. Thompson Center Lobby
100 W. Randolph St., Chicago
The exhibit will feature art from children who are currently in care, or have been in care, and by artists who have been affected by child abuse.
Blue ribbons will be handed out to the public.