April is Child Abuse Prevention month an important issue not just in Central Texas, but worldwide.
On Tuesday, dozens of people came together to use pinwheels and bubbles for one common goal, ending child abuse in McLennan County.
“It’s a nationwide epidemic now so we really need to pay attention to it and McLennan County has about 700 children in foster care,” said Joann Nors, President for McLennan County Children’s Welfare Board.
According to the Child Welfare League of America, in Texas alone over 63,000 children are victims of abuse or neglect. Of that number, 82% are neglected, 16% physically abused and 9% sexually abused.
“In McLennan County we see a lot of physical abuse toward children, a lot of neglect which means that these children are often left at home, the parents are on drugs and they are just not providing the care for these children,” said Faye Stewart, Investigation Supervisor with Child Protective Services.
In fact, more than three children die from abuse and neglect every week in Texas.
“We’re hoping that people will report child abuse and maybe they will stop and think, how am I treating my children?” said Nors.
“And now therefore be it proclaimed that McLennan County wishes to recognize April as National Child Abuse Prevention month and does hereby honor all those tasked with raising awareness to break the cycle,” said McLennan County Judge Scott Felton.
The McLennan County Children’s Welfare Board provides services the state doesn’t, to make a child’s transition into a foster home as easy as possible.
“The state provides some level of financial support for the kids, we provide clothing a lot of times, on occasion we provide food, if they are coming into care a lot of times they haven’t eaten,” said Nors.
To give children the safety and security they so desperately need.
“Seems like as the population increases the rate of child abuse increases sometimes in larger proportions than the population increase,” said Nors.