Every April, Child Abuse Prevention Month calls attention to vulnerable children who cannot protect themselves from violence. The Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) urges Kansans to be vigilant in their communities to protect child victims from abuse and/or neglect, and take part in the many events happening around the state to call attention to this important issue.
In FY 2016, DCF’s Child Protective Services (CPS) division received 67,642 reports of abuse and/or neglect in Kansas—up 9.7 percent from FY 2015. More than 20 percent (13,609) of those reports came from Sedgwick County, more than 9 percent (6,333) from Wyandotte County and nearly 9 percent (6,064) from Shawnee County.
“In order for children to flourish and thrive, they must first feel safe and secure,” DCF Secretary Phyllis Gilmore said. “The ultimate goal of DCF is to ensure the safety of children in Kansas, and each one of us has the responsibility of reporting suspected abuse and neglect.”
There are several events taking place this month in honor of Child Abuse Prevention Month.
April 7 has been designated by national organizations as Wear Blue Day. All Kansans are encouraged to wear blue clothing as a reminder that abuse should not go unnoticed.
On April 9, the Kansas Children’s Service League (KCSL), in partnership with Sporting KC, is promoting Child Abuse Prevention Month at the Sporting KC vs. Colorado Rapids Game. Tickets can be purchased here
On April 12, Attorney General Derek Schmidt and Secretary Gilmore will participate in a “Pinwheels for Prevention” event at Wesley Medical Center, in Wichita. The event will highlight the role mandated reporters play in preventing child abuse and will feature Wichita-area children to plant blue pinwheels in the hospital gardens. The pinwheel serves as a reminder of childhood and the bright futures all children deserve.
“If you suspect a child is being abused and/or neglected, please call the Kansas Protection Report Center at 1-800-922-5330,” Secretary Gilmore said. “Together, we can ensure Kansas children have the happy, healthy childhood they deserve.”
(From left to right): Erica Herzog, KVC Kansas; Susan Gile, DCF; Colleen Riley, Kansas Department of Education, Vicky Roper, KCSL; Deputy Secretary of Family Services David Kurt, DCF; Secretary Phyllis Gilmore, DCF; Deneen Dryden, DCF; Governor Sam Brownback; Kendra Baker, DCF; Rachel March, Saint Francis Community Services; Attorney General Derek Schmidt; Jennifer Montgomery, Attorney General’s Office; Leslie Hale, DCF; Sara Hortenstine, Attorney General’s Office; Dorothy Halley, Attorney General’s Office