StepUp! October is Child Abuse Prevention Month

October 1, 2009, Thunder Bay ON- Dilico Anishinabek Family Care (Dilico) and The Children’s Aid Society of the District of Thunder Bay (Thunder Bay CAS) are asking community members to StepUp in support of Child Abuse Prevention Month. At today’s news conference, the two organizations launched their annual campaign, communicating a very important message to the public—we are all responsible for the safety, health and happiness of children in our community.“Throughout the month of October, residents, businesses and schools can step up by participating in our many community initiatives,” said Susan Verrill, Dilico’s Director of Child Welfare Services.

There are many ways for the community to participate this year:

• Residents can display a purple ribbon. Ribbons can be worn, put on vehicles, tied around trees or given to friends. The purple ribbon is a vital component of the StepUp campaign, serving as a reminder that the problem of child abuse and neglect continues in the community and has crippling effects on children.
• Parents can step up by engaging in safe parent-child activities throughout the month of October. A calendar providing safe and budget friendly activity ideas for every day of the month is available at:
• Businesses can step up by hosting our community information display for a day during the month of October, by distributing purple ribbons to employees and customers, by encouraging employees to wear purple and by organizing child-friendly activities.
• School children can step up by participating in our StepUp Grocery Bag Project.

“Education is one of the most useful tools to prevent child abuse, and our staff will be visiting local elementary schools presenting to students and educators about how they can help,” added Verrill.

October is Child Abuse Prevention Month across Ontario. At the news conference Mayor Lynn Peterson supported the initiative, reading a proclamation declaring October, Child Abuse Prevention Month in the City of Thunder Bay.

“Last year over 700 children and youth in the District of Thunder Bay received child welfare services from our agencies,” said Rob Richardson, Executive Director of Thunder Bay CAS. “We become involved with families when there is a risk of emotional, physical or sexual abuse to a child, when children are exposed to domestic violence in the home, or when parents cannot provide proper care, and nutrition for a child.”

“It’s important that even after this month’s campaign wraps up, we continue to step up throughout the year,” added Richardson. “There are many ways members of our community can take responsibility for the safety and wellbeing of children. I encourage people to visit to learn more about child abuse prevention.”

Dilico Anishinabek Family Care and The Children’s Aid Society of the District of Thunder Bay deliver a range of responsive individual, family and community programs to children, individuals and families in northern Ontario. The agencies work with families, youth, children and communities so all children have the opportunity to reach their full potential.


For further information, contact:
Celeste Pedri- Communications Manager
Dilico Anishinabek Family Care
T- 626-7970/629-3367

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