Children's Home and Aid is asking Bloomington-Normal to "go blue" and show support as Child Abuse Awareness month begins. More than 1,600 children are reported as abused or neglected in McLean County and the agency offers preventative programs to help break the cycle.
Children from the agency's day-care released balloons into the air today to kick off the annual Blue Bow Campaign. Regional Coordinator Darci Thompson said this month is a perfect chance for to parents to participate in the program, and to simply show their kids appreciation.
"Tell your kid you love them. Tell your kid why you think they're awesome, why you think they're great, even reaching out to other parent. This is a great month to be promoting the preventative resources that we have available in the community," said Thompson.
Thompson said these preventative programs aim to offer positive parenting alternatives. Some of the programs include parent-led support groups, a crisis nursery, and a family visit center.
The agency's programs not only help children and their families, but could also help the state's current financial situation, Thompson said.
"Especially this year being our second year without a budget, it's really important to highlight the importance of prevention, noting that it saves the state money in the long run, and it strengthens communities."
The blue bow is recognized as the national symbol of child abuse prevention and signifies the hidden bruises of the abused. Events are continuing throughout the month of April, including a Lego Family Fun Night on April 18 and a 5-K color run on April 29.
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