October is Child Abuse Prevention Month and Durham Children’s Aid Society is again partnering with agencies across Ontario to raise awareness about everyone’s role in keeping children and youth safe, and supporting families in crisis.
Children are our most vulnerable and need to be protected, and they often need someone to speak up for them, says a statement from the Durham CAS. “Children’s Aid Societies are spreading the message that child safety and strong families begin in the community. Everyone has a role to play in their well-being and a duty to report any suspicion that a child may be in need of protection.”
Children’s Aid Societies work hard to protect the children and youth of their local communities and to support families that need help. Children’s Aid Societies have an increased focus on working with families earlier, using more customized approaches, and preventing the admission of children into care. In the vast majority of cases, children are able to remain at home while Children’s Aid Societies work with families to strengthen their parenting capacity and create a more stable future for their children.
Last year, Durham CAS conducted 4,577 investigations into possible abuse of children and youth. Of those investigations, workers were able to help most families to ensure the safety and well-being of their children, and ultimately only 227 children were brought into care.
“Our goal is to protect children, ideally in their own home,” says Service Director, Brian Prousky. “Indeed, 90 per cent of our work involves working with parents to keep children safe. We know that children are healthiest and most successful when cared for in a safe and loving family home and, if possible, we always strive to make that happen in their own family home.”
Everyone has a legal and moral duty to report child abuse. Not only is everyone required to report known incidents of abuse, but also cases of suspected abuse. Durham CAS relies on members of the community to be the voice for those children who are unable to speak up.
“All community members play a critical role in preventing child abuse. Everyone can participate by wearing purple ribbons, learning more about the issues, helping families who may be struggling, reporting if there is a concern about a child at risk and sharing information.”
For more information visit durhamcas.ca.
This is the 21st year of the Child Abuse Prevention Campaign and the use of the purple ribbon to symbolize the campaign. The purple ribbon is used across Canada to symbolize child abuse awareness, and was originally established as the symbol by the staff of Durham CAS.
In recognition of Child Abuse Prevention Month, the 2nd Annual 5k Walk/Run in support of the Durham Children’s Aid Foundation will be held on October 9. The event starts at noon, and begins and ends at the offices of Durham CAS, 1320 Airport Blvd.
On October 23, the workshop, “Empowering caregivers to protect children and youth from sexual exploitation ” (for professionals, pre-registration required) will be held.
And, on October 26, the “If We Had A Million Dollars” Gala will take place at the Ajax Convention Centre.
For more information about the gala, please contact the Durham Children’s Aid Foundation, durhamcaf.ca.