The organization will honor child advocates; debut videos from government and elected officials; host educational webinars for individuals to learn about child abuse prevention
Harrisburg, Pa.– Pa Family Support Alliance (PFSA), the state’s leader in child abuse prevention has brought together local child advocates, elected officials, members from the business community, and nationally recognized experts—all in an effort to raise awareness for National Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month.
“Every April, attention turns towards raising awareness about child abuse prevention, but this is something that our team spends every single day of the year working on,” Angela Liddle, President and CEO of PFSA. “Now more than ever, we are seeing everyday Pennsylvanians, elected officials, and child advocates unite to take a stand against child abuse. We must use our collective voices, educate the public about what the warning signs of child abuse are, and boldly combat this systemic issue that is plaguing our society.”
According to the 2020 Pennsylvania Department of Human Services’ Annual Child Protective Services Report, there were 4,593 substantiated cases of abuse, 115 near fatalities, and 73 fatalities—the most ever in a single year.
Pa Family Alliance has created a month-long #ProtectPAKids awareness campaign that will include its annual flag-planting ceremony outside of the Capitol rotunda and virtual events featuring nationally renowned child welfare experts.
As part of the campaign, PFSA will honor four individuals as Blue Ribbon Champions for Safe Kids recipients. Each individual was nominated for the award because of their efforts to go above and beyond the call of duty to protect Pennsylvania’s children. The four individuals receiving the award are:
- Daniel Goldstein, MSS, LSW | Supervisor, Lehigh County Child and Youth Services
Daniel is a Supervisor of the investigative team that is responsible for determining when an incident of child abuse has occurred. Before this position, Daniel retired from the New York City Police Department as a sergeant.
- Jennifer Wildermann | Program Manager, Lackawanna County Office of Family and Youth Service
Jennifer founded and manages the agency’s diagnostic unit. She created the Diagnostic Unit in 2006, after years of supervising child abuse and neglect intake units.
- Robin Boyer | Director of Intake Services, Lancaster County Children and Youth Agency
Robin leads and organizes the Plans of Safe Care Committee, which ensures that intake managers work with families that are navigating the challenges of substance abuse, specifically when it comes to dealing with mothers and infants affected by substance abuse.
- Deborah Willett | Program Coordinator, Coatesville Center for Community Health–Grandfamily Connections
Deborah works to provide safe homes for children in Chester County when their parents are unable to care for them due to substance abuse, mental health issues, and incarceration. She created the Grandfamily Connections program to provide support and stability for grandparents and kinship families that take in children when their own parents are unable to care for them.
Additionally, Pa Family Support Alliance will debut special video messages on its social media pages featuring Department of Human Services Acting Secretary Meg Snead, State Senators Judy Ward and Maria Collett, and State Representatives Sheryl Delozier and Pamela DeLissio. All of these government and elected officials were eager to lend their voice and position to raise awareness about child abuse prevention.
The community-at-large is also playing a role in raising awareness during April. In Harrisburg, the Capitol and Market Street Bridge will shine blue in honor of Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month.
Finally, the organization will host live webinars with nationally recognized child welfare experts including Kristen Shook-Slack, Lauren Mendoza, Kaysie Getty, Elliott Hinkle, and Marc Berkman. Shook-Slack will speak about how to prevent child maltreatment using an ecological and strength-based lens, Mendoza will speak about problematic interactive social media use and gaming; Getty and Hinkle will speak on innovative ways to partner with young people, and Berkman will speak on the emerging risks of social media use.
About Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance
Pa Family Support Alliance prevents child abuse and protects children from harm by helping parents learn positive parenting techniques, educating professionals and volunteers who work with children to recognize and report child abuse, and helping community members learn how they can play a positive role in keeping children safe. To learn more about our programs, schedule a training, or donate, please visit pafsa.org, or call 800-448-4906.