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National Child Abuse Prevention Month

Pa Family Support Alliance (PFSA) and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania recognize April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month and is committed to working with professionals, families, and communities across Pennsylvania to advocate and educate for the prevention child abuse and neglect. Through collective and strategic partnerships, we believe that communities can be strengthened to help protect children and support families.

Throughout April PFSA will host several events and activities during the month to call attention to the prevalence of child abuse and how private organizations, public entities, and individuals can work together to prevent and stop it.

Children are our most precious resource, and they deserve to be loved and protected and grow up in an environment that is free from abuse and neglect. That is why we have designed all our events and activities to not only elevate the ongoing work that our organization and child advocates are undertaking but also educate attendees and participants so that they leave feeling empowered to protect Pennsylvania’s children.

From hosting in-person events to engaging with various communities across the commonwealth to sponsoring virtual speakers, we invite you to work with us and help #ProtectPAKids!


Overview of April Events and Activities


Annual Flag Planting

On April 2, PFSA will once again sponsor this in-person event. From Front Street to the steps of the Capitol, PFSA staff, board of directors, statewide and local advocates, officials and corporate supporters will plant 4992 blue flags to represent the number of substantiated child abuse cases and 60 black flags to represent the number of child deaths due to child abuse in Pennsylvania over one year.

Flag planting will begin at 9:00am at the corner of 3rd & State Street in Harrisburg, PA.


Blue Ribbon Champions for Safe Kids & the Blue Ribbon Campaign

The symbol for child abuse prevention is the Blue Ribbon. PFSA will honor Blue Ribbon Champions from across the Commonwealth who have gone the extra mile to protect PA children. These individuals are recognized for their exceptional contributions as we continue to make every effort to prevent child abuse and neglect throughout Pennsylvania. Legislative leadership, elected and appointed officials of the 2024 incoming administration will join us in recognizing our Blue Ribbon Champions!

The award ceremony will take place on April 2 at 10:30am in the Main Rotunda of the Capitol Complex in Harrisburg, PA.


Turn Pennsylvania Blue

Blue is the national symbolic color of child abuse prevention. PFSA will call on Pennsylvania-based reporters, on-air media personalities, celebrities, influencers, and elected officials to “Turn Pennsylvania Blue” on April 2. Although April 2 is Go Blue Day, every day in April is a great day for sporting the color blue.


Spotlight Speaker: Virtual Event

On April 4 at 11am, PFSA will host a webinar as part of our annual Spotlight Speaker Series event. This webinar will look to Fred Rogers for insight and encouragement in how adults can steward young people through a childhood that is vastly different from generations before.


Children’s Memorial & Data Map

PFSA will display child abuse and neglect data from Pennsylvania’s statewide report on an interactive map accompanied by memorial video honoring the children who were lost due to child abuse and neglect. Check out the Children’s Memorial section to view this information and video.


Engaging Communities Across the Commonwealth

PFSA will work directly with individuals and child welfare organizations, like county children and youth service agencies, across the state on local activities that will publicly raise awareness about abuse prevention. By working together at a grassroots level, PFSA believes that all of us will be stronger together and better equipped to combat the future needs of our children.


CBCAP Network

PFSA’s Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (CBCAP) Network is a diverse group of local organizations providing a wide range of prevention services and programs to anyone who may be in a parenting or caregiver role. Check out the CBCAP Network section to learn more about this powerful network.


April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, which serves as a reminder that there is much work to be done to help protect our children. Our PA Blue Ribbon Champions for Safe Kids movement is a call to action to get involved, to strengthen and support families, to watch out for the safety of children in your neighborhood, and to learn how to report child abuse.

Each April, Pa Family Support Alliance (PFSA) honors individuals from across the Commonwealth who go above and beyond the call to #ProtectPAKids from abuse and neglect. These individuals are recognized as Blue Ribbon Champions for Safe Kids for their exceptional contributions and efforts as we strive to prevent child abuse and neglect throughout Pennsylvania. PFSA is excited to honor four distinguished individuals in 2024 as Blue Ribbon Champion for Safe Kids.

Child abuse is a public health crisis – but it is preventable. Each of us must play a role in child protection. Because every child needs a champion. If you suspect abuse, report it to ChildLine, the state’s 24/7 reporting hotline at 800-932-0313.


2024 Blue Ribbon Champions for Safe Kids: Award Winners

Crystal Long
Forensic Interviewer & Prevention Educator
Adams County Children’s Advocacy Center


Nancy Reitzel
Early Childhood Educator Instructor
Cumberland Perry Area Career & Technical School


Kimberly Saltsman
Executive Director
Children’s Advocacy Center of Centre County
Mount Nittany Health


Lisa Wilcox
Director of Children and Youth
Sullivan County Children and Youth Services


A special thanks to our judges for the 2024 Blue Ribbon Champions for Safe Kids event – Thank You!!!

Ron Bunce | PFSA Board Member | President and CEO, Children’s Home of York

Kim Eckel | PFSA Board Member | CEO, Footbridge for Families

Dr. Rosalind Lee | PFSA Board Member | Regional Director of Pennsylvania Operations, Progressive Life Center

Michelle McDyre | Director of Prevention Education and Outreach, Mission Kids Child Advocacy Center | Former Blue Ribbon Champions for Safe Kids Award Winner

Casey Stokes-Rodriguez | Social Worker, Harrisburg City School District | Former Blue Ribbon Champions for Safe Kids Award Winner


PFSA is excited to host its annual Spotlight Speaker as part of National Child Abuse Prevention Month! We invite you to join us for this virtual speaker event scheduled for April 4, where we have a special guest speaker to present on a topic relevant to all parents, caregivers, and professionals working with families. The purpose of this event is to raise awareness of child abuse prevention efforts across systems and to educate other professionals on the impact that child abuse prevention can have for individuals, organizations, systems, and communities.

Registration is FREE


2024 Spotlight Speaker Event


Join us for a special guest speaker on the topic titled: Look for the Helpers.

Date: April 4, 2024

Time: 11am-12pm (EST)

Registration: CLICK HERE

Presentation Overview:

Children are growing up in a world that is more connected than ever. We receive news, almost instantly, of violence across the world and traumatic events across our own country. While we can work to protect children from regular exposure to this content, they are hearing and understanding more than we may know from the conversations they overhear, interactions with peers, and time spent online. This webinar will look to Fred Rogers for insight and encouragement in how adults can steward young people through a childhood that is vastly different from generations before.

How do we talk with children about the difficult things they see online? What do we say to our children about their safety, when they see and hear about violence happening in our own country and around the world? How do we manage our own fears and prevent them from negatively impacting our interactions with children?


Speaker Bio

Emma Lee, Associate Director, Fred Rogers Institute

As Associate Director, Emma Lee brings her appreciation for childhood and her respect for families to the initiatives of the Fred Rogers Institute. Her work reaches across the research, policy, and practice sectors in early childhood, K-12 education, and social services to support the interactions and relationships that help children thrive.

Before joining the Institute, Emma worked at the RAND Corporation as a Policy Analyst. Her work included research, evaluation, and technical assistance for projects in early childhood and K-12 education in both rural and urban settings. She holds an Ed.M. in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard University and a B.A. in Psychology from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Lost Children’s Memorial Video


Interactive Data Map (2024)

This interactive data map represents child abuse fatality data gathered from the 2022 Annual Child Protective Services Report, which is produced annually by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (the annual report for 2023 has not yet been finalized). A total of 60 child fatalities and 138 near fatalities due to child abuse were substantiated statewide during 2022. This number is broken down by each county on the map below. 

To view the child abuse fatality data by county, place your cursor over any county on the map. Click on the county to reveal more specific data related to the number of substantiated cases, fatalities, and near fatalities for that county.  

At the center of PFSA’s mission sits the family-serving, community-based organizations across Pennsylvania that we have had the privilege to partner with over the years. The Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (CBCAP) Network is a diverse network of local organizations, providing a wide range of prevention services and programs to anyone who may be in a parenting or caregiver role.

These partnering organizations create a strong and united statewide network that, together, promotes positive, safe, and healthy family development within the local communities. PFSA is proud to provide support and resources for this network year after year, including professional development opportunities, technical assistance, programming expansion, and a variety of resources for local families and communities. This ongoing relationship helps to create a positive impact on caregivers, families, and children all across the commonwealth.

PFSA works with individual CBCAP agencies on a variety of collaborative projects, virtual programming, relevant publications, and resources, as well as remote learning webinars and training opportunities. All of this effort supports the pathway toward a safe and healthy future for Pennsylvania families and children.

If you are a community-based agency with a focus on supporting families and preventing child abuse, PFSA invites you to learn more about the CBCAP Network and the opportunity to partner. Click the document to the right to gain insights on the work ahead, membership benefits, and how you can get involved. To submit an interest form for joining PFSA’s CBCAP Network, click here.

If you have any questions regarding PFSA’s CBCAP Network, contact our Prevention Services Manager, Justin Donofrio, at jdonofrio@pafsa.org.

Click to View

Painting for Prevention, a program created by the Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance (PFSA), gives individuals, families, and communities an avenue for demonstrating their commitment and unity around child abuse prevention efforts. Each year, a new statewide canvas design is released and hundreds of Painting for Prevention kits are distributed and shared across communities in Pennsylvania during Child Abuse Prevention Month. Painting for Prevention projects strengthen communities and unite community members in the common goal to prevent child abuse and neglect. Additionally, they also serve as a symbol for awareness and hope to support children and families within and around our communities.

The blue ribbon is always featured in the canvas design of each Painting for Prevention project. The blue ribbon serves as a national symbol to remind us of the seriousness of child abuse and the need for prevention. The blue ribbon is also used as a personal reminder that we are all individually responsible for protecting the children in our lives. #ProtectPAKids!

A BIG ‘Thank You’ to all of our partners participating in this year’s P4P canvas project!

2023 Event Photos



THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR SPONSORS!

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