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April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. Everyone Has a Role to Play

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.


Upcoming Events:


Friday, March 31, 2017

CartervilleKick-Off Event

10 a.m.

John A. Logan College (Main Entrance, Lower Level)

700 Logan College Dr., Carterville

Friday, March 31, 2017

Edwardsville Kick-Off Event

10 a.m.

Madison County Government Building

157 N. Main St., Edwardsville


Monday, April 3, 2017

Peoria Kick-Off Event

10 a.m.

Peoria Zoo (former entrance near the Triebel lion statues)

2320 N. Prospect Rd., Peoria

Triebel Lions to don blue ribbons throughout April

Blue ribbons will be handed out to the public.


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Chicago Blue Bow Kickoff Event

9 a.m.

Fourth Presbyterian Church (Michigan Ave. & Chestnut St.)

126 E. Chestnut St., Chicago

Photo op and tying of blue bows to trees will take place at 9:50 a.m. outside.

Blue ribbons will be handed out to the public.


Monday, April 3 through Friday, April 7, 2017

Chicago Art Exhibit

10 a.m.

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.


For a full calendar of related activities, click here.


Media Note: Blue ribbons are a symbol of efforts to increase awareness of the prevalence and warning signs of child abuse and the prevention methods and measures available to reduce the incidence of child abuse.


Media Contacts:          Jen Florent                                          Veronica Resa

Public Information Officer III             Deputy Dir. of Communications

217-524-1970                                        312-814-6847