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Blue Ribbon Trees Remind All Have Responsibility for Child Safety

Family Service of RI Marks National Child Abuse Prevention Month

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and Family Service of RI is urging everyone to remember that each of us has the responsibility to protect children.

To symbolize a commitment to prevent child abuse, Family Service of RI staff are working with area schools to build “blue ribbon trees.” The blue ribbon is the recognized symbol for child abuse prevention.

Blue ribbons are already on display at Providence’s Vartan Gregorian Elementary School (photo).

Margaret Holland McDuff, Family Service of RI’s CEO, urges everyone to display blue ribbons to signify a commitment to keep children safe.

“We all have a responsibility to ensure the safety of all children, even those outside our families,” she said.

Family Service of RI is a leading provider in the Ocean State of services for abused children, providing therapy and group and foster homes, and serves as a leader in the state’s Family Care Community Partnership initiative to prevent children from falling into state care.

“What we see on a day-to-day basis is heartbreaking,” she said.  “And such abuse could have been prevented.”

The blue ribbon campaign to prevent child abuse began in 1989, according to the federal Administration for Children, as a Virginia grandmother’s tribute to a grandson who died as the result of abuse.  She tied a blue ribbon to her car’s antenna in remembrance and to alert her community about the tragedy of child abuse.

In addition to the blue ribbon campaign, Family Service of RI will be placing child abuse prevention messages on its website and Facebook and Twitter pages.

About 12 out of every thousand RI children are victims of abuse or neglect, according to the latest Rhode Island Kids Count figures. “An unacceptable number,” she said.


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