National Child Abuse Prevention Month 2024: How PFSA Drew Awareness to #ProtectPAKids

It’s been a busy but amazing April for Pa Family Support Alliance. Now, as April and National Child Abuse Prevention Month draw to a close, we are grateful how our partners and communities used the month to raise awareness around preventing child abuse and neglect. Here are some of the #ProtectPAKids highlights from April:

Blue Ribbon Champions for Safe Kids Awards

To kick off National Child Abuse Prevention Month, we held our annual Blue Ribbon Champions for Safe Kids Awards ceremony. From April 2-4, the Capitol was lit up in blue — the official color of National Child Abuse Prevention Month — as were the Walnut and Market Street bridges in downtown Harrisburg.

Inclement weather forced the cancellation of our annual blue-ribbon flag planting event, which usually takes place on the morning of the award ceremony along State Street outside the Capitol in Harrisburg. However, our team still planted the flags on April 1 to coordinate with the ceremony. We planted 4,992 blue flags — each representing one substantiated case of child abuse in 2022 — and 60 black flags to signify every child who died due to abuse in that year.

On April 2, we honored four Pennsylvanians as Blue Ribbon Champions for Safe Kids during a ceremony emceed by WITF’s Scott Lamar. This award is given to individuals who have made exceptional contributions to preventing child abuse and neglect throughout Pennsylvania. The 2024 Blue Ribbon Champions for Safe Kids winners were (pictured from left to right):

  • Kimberly Saltsman – Executive Director, Children’s Advocacy Center of Centre County, Mount Nittany Health (Clearfield County resident)
  • Crystal Long – Forensic Interviewer/Prevention Educator, Adams County Children’s Advocacy Center (Franklin County resident)
  • Nancy Reitzel – Early Childhood Education Instructor, Cumberland Perry Area Career & Technical Center (Cumberland County resident)
  • Lisa K. Wilcox – Director of Children and Youth, Sullivan County Children and Youth Services (Sullivan County resident)

PFSA was joined by the Susquehanna Children’s Chorale, the Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association, and various state and local elected officials. The awards ceremony was covered in the media by WGAL and FOX43, among other media outlets.

Billboards for Family Digital Wellness

Lamar Advertising graciously placed 20 billboards across the greater Harrisburg-York regions to highlight our Family Digital Wellness initiative and two of our Blue Ribbon Champions for Safe Kids. We appreciate Lamar’s generation donation of these billboards.

Ang talks to The Spark

Our President and CEO, Angela Liddle, was a guest on WITF’s “The Spark.” She discussed PAFSA’s mission and initiatives, factors that lead to child abuse, latest data patterns of child abuse cases in PA, and how adults can step in to prevent and report child abuse. Listen to Ang’s conversation with host Scott LaMar here.

Fred Rogers Institute Webinar/Breakfast Presentation

On April 4, PFSA hosted a webinar led by Emma Lee, Associate Director of the Fred Rogers Institute. The topic drew from Fred Rogers’ philosophy about supporting children’s growth and emotions and how to talk to children about difficult topics.

On April 9, Lee and the Fred Rogers Institute held an in-person presentation hosted by Wesley Family Services. PFSA leaders attended, gave remarks, and participated in various discussions led by Lee about helping children flourish in today’s world.

We are grateful to all who joined us at these events. Even though April is ending, we work tirelessly year-round to #ProtectPAKids and hope that you continue to support us.

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