On October 1st, CASs across the province in partnership with the Ontario Association of CASs will launch the 25th annual Child Abuse Prevention Month (CAPM) campaign. Jennifer Wilson, Executive Director of the Kawartha-Haliburton Children’s Aid Society explained that “The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness about the role that each community member plays in keeping kids safe, and the importance of calling your local Children’s Aid Society if you have any concerns about the safety or well-being of a child or youth. It really does take a village and young people can benefit from this holistic approach.”
Another key aim of the initiative, which is also known as the purple ribbon campaign, is to address the myth that calling a Children’s Aid Society will lead to the separation of a child from their family. “Many people don’t realize that in 97% of investigations that CASs do, children remain in the home while we work with families who may be struggling with issues such as addiction, unemployment, poverty, domestic violence or mental health challenges”, commented Mark Kartusch, Executive Director of Highland Shores Children’s Aid. The Purple Ribbon Campaign helps to raise awareness about how to identify child abuse or neglect, but also provides people with more insight about how a call to their Children’s Aid Society actually helps children and families.
The two Societies are excited to be partnering with local school boards in Kawartha-Haliburton, Peterborough, Northumberland, Hastings and Prince Edward County again this year to get these messages out to teachers, students and parents. New classroom resources have been developed by the Ontario Association of CASs to assist teachers to talk about child abuse and neglect and to help raise awareness among children about how to ask for help from adults in their community. Boards of Education and schools are key partners in protecting the rights of children and youth to safety and well-being, and in helping families who may need support to keep their children safe.
In Peterborough, the City will raise a ceremonial flag at City Hall in recognition of this important month. Municipalities in Hastings, Northumberland and Prince Edward Counties have also proclaimed October as Child Abuse Prevention Month.
As part of the Child Abuse Prevention Month campaign everyone across the province is asked to dress in purple on October 24th for Dress Purple Day in order to collectively speak up and share the message that child abuse and neglect can be prevented and that help is available.
You Can Support the CAPM/Dress Purple Day campaigns by:
- Participating in the social media campaign. Hashtags include #IBREAKtheSilence and #SpeakUp4Kids.
- Dress in Purple on October 24th. You can purchase a purple t-shirt by contacting The Children’s Foundation at 613-962-9292.
- Attend a Highland Shores “Go Purple” hockey game being held in Trenton, Cobourg, Port Hope, Picton or A complete listing of game dates and times can be found on www.highlandshorescas.com.
- Learn more about how to identify child abuse or neglect by visiting khcas.on.ca or www.highlandshorescas.com
For more information contact: Bonnie Perrigard, Communications Coordinator, 613-962-9291, ext. 2202 or 800-267-0570, ext. 2202.