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April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

Illinois DCFS releases new public service announcement highlighting ways to keep children safe

CHICAGO – April is Child Abuse Prevention Month in Illinois, and to increase awareness the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services today released a new public service announcement highlighting simple things everyone can do to help keep children safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“At DCFS we are first responders when it comes to helping families in crisis, but we cannot do this job alone; and in these stressful times of social distancing, turning our kitchens into classrooms and the uncertainty of knowing when life as we knew it will return to normal, we need your help now more than ever,” said DCFS Acting Director Marc D. Smith. “Text your friends with children and see how they’re doing; share child abuse prevention messages on social media; and most importantly, if you suspect that a child is being abused or neglected, call the DCFS Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-25-ABUSE.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the hotline is working at full capacity and remains prepared to take calls 24 hours a day. Currently most calls are handled in real time without requiring a call-back. DCFS child protection specialists continue to respond to hotline calls with face-to-face contact within 24 hours to assess child safety.

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