CBS 21: Thousands of flags outside Capitol represent kids abused in PA 

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. 

This month is a time to demonstrate the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse and neglect. 

The Capitol building is glowing in blue to raise awareness and PA Family Support Alliance, or PFSA is placing thousands of flags in the ground along State Street. 

“It really takes the entire community to help families and keep kids safe,” said Angela Liddle, president and CEO of PFSA. 

Each one of the 5,036 blue flags represents a child abused in Pennsylvania in 2021. 

58 black flags representing a child’s life lost to abuse. 

The flags will fly until the end of the month. 

“The very best first step to preventing child abuse is strong positive parenting,” Liddle said. “But for those parents that can’t or won’t provide that we need the next step — which is mandated reporters.” 

Those mandated reporters are people like teachers, bus drivers, doctors and dentists who weren’t seeing as many kids during the COVID-19 pandemic due to mitigation orders. As a result, fewer cases of child abuse were reported. 

“What we see now is they are increasing back to pre-pandemic levels,” Liddle said. “We know that kids are getting intervention, and that’s how it’s supposed to work.” 

PFSA is awarding community members like Jessica Crouse, community educator at Over the Rainbow Children’s Advocacy Center. Tuesday, Crouse was presented with the Blue Ribbon Champion for Safe Kids Award for her abuse prevention education being used in school districts in Franklin County. 

“Child abuse prevention education is essential to stopping that cycle of abuse,” Crouse said. 

The abuse prevention curriculum started in one school district in 2019. This year, it will be taught to over 10,000 students in Franklin County. 

From CBS 21, April 4, 2023

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