The award is given to individuals that have gone above and beyond the call of duty to protect children
HARRISBURG, Pa.– PA Family Support Alliance (PFSA), the state’s leader in child abuse prevention, today awarded Michelle McDyre of Upper Providence Township with the Blue Ribbon Champion for Safe Kids Award, which is given annually to four individuals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to support and protect Pennsylvania’s children.
McDyre is the Director of Prevention Education and Outreach at Mission Kids Child Advocacy Center in Montgomery County. She launched the organization’s prevention education department and its “ROAR” program. ROAR is a child-based education program that teaches children age 4 through 8 about bodily safety and empowers them to speak out if they ever feel they are in an inappropriate situation. Her work was vitally important during the pandemic. When schools switched to virtual learning and children were isolated from mandated reporters like teachers, coaches, and counselors, McDyre ensured that the ROAR program would still be taught virtually.
“Michelle serves as a north star for all of us who work in the abuse prevention space,” PFSA President and CEO Angela Liddle said. “Not only does she have a passion for children and families, but she is also acutely aware that it takes collaboration and unity from communities to prevent and stop child abuse. Her tenacity is unmatched, and she constantly seeks out new ways to educate more individuals about abuse prevention.”
Under McDyre’s leadership, Mission Kids Child Advocacy Center employs six prevention educators. Collectively, they deliver up to 30 trainings per week, and educated 1,800 adults and 8,000 children in 2021 alone. Since the organization launched its prevention education program under McDyre, the organization has provided training to nearly 40,000 individuals since 2018 in Montgomery County.
In honor of this accomplishment, PFSA and Department of Human Services Acting Secretary Valerie Arkoosh recognized McDyre in front of a packed audience of lawmakers, media, child advocates, and students in the Capitol Rotunda.
A few pictures and short b-roll clips from today’s ceremony can be found by CLICKING HERE.
PFSA was joined by members of the Senate Aging & Youth Committee and the House Children and Youth Committee, among others.
The ceremony kicked off National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Each year, PFSA hosts activities and events throughout the Commonwealth to increase awareness about the need for individuals to learn about the warning signs of abuse and neglect.
According to the department’s Child Protective Services 2021 Annual Report, there were 5,036 substantiated cases of child abuse, 58 substantiated fatalities, and 136 substantiated near fatalities.
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.