Contact: Joe Scialfa or Gina Paige ― 608-266-9000
(MADISON) – Nearly 700,000 children are abused in the U.S. annually. To raise awareness about the effects of child abuse, Governor Walker has proclaimed the month of April as Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month in Wisconsin. During this month, the Department of Children and Families (DCF) joins Governor Walker’s call for citizens to “Say Something, Do Something for Kids” by learning how to recognize the signs of maltreatment and working together to find solutions to the generational cycle of abuse and neglect.
Child maltreatment comes in many forms and isn’t always visible. Maltreatment can include neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, exploitation and emotional abuse. It is important for individuals to know the warning signs, how to take action by reporting suspected abuse or neglect to a child welfare agency or local law enforcement, and where to get help.
About five children per day die in the United States because of child abuse, and about 70 percent of abused children suffer from neglect. Research has found that the impact on a child who suffers from the trauma of abuse or neglect is not only felt when it occurs, but affects their brain later throughout their life. It can permanently affect them psychologically as well as physically.
“All children need loving, safe and healthy homes in order to grow and flourish,” said DCF Secretary Eloise Anderson. “DCF staff and our county and tribal partners work tirelessly to ensure that children are safe and protected. But, we can’t do it alone. This month, and year round, we call on all Wisconsin’s communities to make a difference in a child’s life. Get involved, help your neighbors, and if you suspect that a child is being maltreated, call your local child protection agency.”
Wisconsin’s child protective community will be helping to bring attention to the month with Wear Blue Day on April 7, 2017. Wisconsinites are encouraged to “do something” to show support for child abuse prevention efforts by wearing a blue ribbon or the color blue – the color of prevention. Staff at DCF’s Division of Milwaukee Child Protective Services (DMCPS) will be bringing extra attention to the day by posting photos of people wearing blue for kids at #SaySomethingDoSomething.
Effective child abuse prevention programs succeed as a result of partnerships among citizens, social service agencies, schools, and community organizations, ranging from the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families, to county and Indian child welfare agencies and hundreds of non-profit agencies who work to protect Wisconsin children every day.
Learn more about Child and Family Safety on the DCF website at www.dcf.wisconsin.gov.