For more information, contact
Brigitte Coles – (419) 774-4168
Help Strengthen Families and Prevent Child Abuse
Tie Blue Ribbons for Child Abuse Prevention Month
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. This month and throughout the year, Richland County Children Services (RCCS) encourages all individuals and organizations to play a role in making our community a better place for children and families. By ensuring that parents have the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to care for their children, we can help promote the social and emotional well-being of children and youth and prevent child maltreatment within families in our community.
To help spread awareness for child abuse prevention, Richland County Children Services (RCCS) is inviting individuals, churches, organizations, businesses and schools to tie a blue ribbon on their door, mailbox, or car antenna during the month of April.
The blue ribbon is the international symbol for child abuse prevention. It serves as a reminder that all of us have a responsibility in helping protect children.
In support of this effort, downtown Mansfield is going “blue” in April. The city is tying blue ribbons around lamp posts, and the downtown gazebo in Central Park will be lit with blue lights in honor of Child Abuse Prevention Month.
This year’s theme for Richland County Children Services is “Making a Difference Together.” The most important thing we can do to help children thrive is to support families before they reach a crisis.
“Each year, we educate and raise awareness about the impact child abuse has on children and society. Providing information about comprehensive best-practices that are known to build parental capacity through protective factors is key in helping families become more resilient. To make child abuse less likely to occur, we need to invest in our community and our families,” said Brigitte Coles, RCCS Community Engagement Specialist.
Protective factors are the strengths and resources families draw on during difficult times to shield them from life's stresses. Research shows that when parents possess protective factors, the risk for neglect and abuse diminish and optimal outcomes for children, youth, and families are promoted.
Major protective factors include knowledge of parenting, knowledge of child development, parental resilience, social connections, and concrete supports.
National Child Abuse Prevention Month is more than just raising awareness about the reality of child maltreatment. It's about taking action to reduce it. RCCS is helping to reduce abuse and neglect by providing our families with the support they need. There are certain issues such as a family’s neighborhood, income level, or other societal factors that can make parenting more challenging. By reducing these vulnerabilities through strengths-based approaches that truly support families, we can begin to mitigate child maltreatment and improve the outcomes of children, youth, and families.
For more information about child abuse prevention programs and activities go to richlandcountychildrenservices.org. Please call the Richland County Children Services 24-hour child abuse hotline at 419-774-4100 to report child abuse and neglect.
731 Scholl Road, Mansfield, Ohio 44907
RCCS is marking National Child Abuse Prevention Month with several activities:
Child Abuse Prevention Month Kick Off, Richland County Courthouse, 50 Park Ave E, Commissioners Board Room, Thursday, March 31, 9:30 a.m. The Richland County Commissioners will present a Proclamation in observance of April being National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Proclamations will also be issued by the cities of Mansfield, Ontario, Shelby, and villages of Bellville, Butler, Lexington, Lucas, Plymouth, and Shiloh.
Blue Ribbons/Blue Ribbon Trees for Prevention, April 1. Blue ribbons will be on display in downtown Mansfield for Child Abuse Prevention Month courtesy of RCCS, the city of Mansfield, the Mansfield United Lions Club and Tara’s Floral. The community can participate by displaying blue ribbons on a tree, door, fence, on your vehicle or mailbox. The blue ribbon is the international symbol for child abuse prevention. Participants can take pictures of their blue ribbons/blue ribbon trees and send them via email to Brigitte.Coles@jfs.ohio.gov for publication on the agency’s website and Facebook page.
April activities include:
Fun Family Night at the Mansfield Carrousel, April 1, from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. Join Richland County Children Services for an evening of fun at the Mansfield Carrousel as part of Child Abuse Prevention Month. Enjoy free rides, blue ribbon cookies, treats and more courtesy of Richland County Children Services.
Easter Drive-Thru Celebration, April 2, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.Mansfield Parks & Recreation, RCCS and community partners will host an Easter Drive-Thru Celebration at South Park located at 100 Brinkerhoff Ave. Families are invited to come out and see the Easter Bunny. Each child in attendance will receive an Easter bag, small toys, and treats. Participants will be required to stay in their vehicles during their visit.
Wear Blue Day Wednesday, April 13. Wear Blue Day is an annual statewide event to spread awareness on the important issues of child abuse, neglect and dependency. On this day local businesses, offices, schools, agencies, factories, retail outlets and media partners are asked to Wear Blue to show unity against child abuse and neglect. Participants can take pictures of themselves, their group, classmates or co-workers wearing blue and send them via email to Brigitte.Coles@jfs.ohio.gov for publication on the agency’s website and Facebook page.
Free Blue-Ribbon Cookie -Wear Blue Day, April 13 at Buckeye Bakery RCCS has teamed up with Buckeye Bakery for Wear Blue Day on Wednesday, April 13th, to give the first 150 customers wearing blue a free cookie in support of Child Abuse Prevention Month.
Central Park Gazebo Goes Blue, April 1 – April 30 The Central Park Gazebo will be lit in blue lights in honor of Child Abuse Prevention Month.