Groups mark Child Abuse Prevention Month

State and non-profit agencies spoke out Thursday in favor of greater citizen efforts to prevent child abuse.

The calls came as the groups prepared to mark April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Among them was the director of Illinois’ Department of Children and Family Services director George Sheldon.

“The impact of abuse and neglect on a child can take a lifetime to heal, and that’s where we as a community can help,” Sheldon wrote in a statement. “Not only do we need to intercede and find help for a family in crisis, but we need to help prevent child abuse by building awareness that it can happen in any family.”

According to the agency’s executive statistical summary, DCFS received 110,099 reports of child abuse and neglect in 2015 and found 33,169 of those cases showed credible evidence of abuse or neglect. The agency also investigated the deaths of 138 children in 2015 and found evidence 74 of them involved abuse or neglect.

For resources from DCFS on preventing child abuse, click here. For additional information from the organization Prevent Child Abuse Illinois, click here.