Local leaders mark start of Child Abuse Prevention Month

Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow, above at top left, ordered Oswego City Hall lit blue this week to recognize the start of national Child Abuse Prevention Month.

OSWEGO — April is Child Abuse Month and local elected officials and child advocacy experts are asking all Oswego County residents to help make the area a better place for children and families.

The staff and volunteers of the Child Advocacy Center of Oswego work hard every day at their tremendously sensitive jobs, but are especially locked-in for the next four weeks in their effort to make sure parents have the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to care for their children.

“We can help prevent child abuse and neglect by creating strong and thriving children, youth, and families in our communities,” said Child Advocacy Center (CAC) Executive Director Tory DeCaire, adding that in the midst of these “unsettling times,” his “amazing” team “continues to go above and beyond to help provide valuable services to our community.”

While the current COVID-19 pandemic has caused the CAC to make some adjustments in how services are delivered. DeCaire said the center is still operating and “critical services are still being offered while adhering to our policies that are in place to protect our staff and team as well as the children and families that we serve.”

It’s not business as usual by any means, according to DeCaire, but through “creative ways to stay in touch,” the CAC will continue to deliver its valuable services throughout the community.

“As we all try to deal with the impact of social distancing, please keep in mind that many children in our community are without the typical interaction with school faculty or staff, caring professionals, or supportive family and friends,” DeCaire said. “During this time, it may be difficult for our community’s children to get the help and services they so desperately need. It is vitally important that we continue our support to these children and families now.

“We can’t do it alone,” DeCaire added. “We need your help.”

Throughout Child Abuse Prevention month, the CAC  will offer a variety of virtual events, fundraisers and information. Please visit oswegocac.org or visit CAC social media platforms to learn more and to stay informed.

The Oswego city community joined the CAC and friends on Friday, April 3 for Wear Blue Day 2020 in support of Child Abuse Prevention month. Local leaders joined in to show their support as well.

“With April being National Child Abuse Prevention Month, I wanted to show my support by not only wearing blue, but by turning the lights on City Hall and the Oswego Falls blue as well,” said Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow. “I stand with our community as we work together to help make prevention possible.”

Fulton Mayor Deana Michaels said she also joined her city’s employees in support of #Blue4Kids Day.

“We stand in solidarity with those who work to promote the safety of our children and we thank the Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County for the work they do for our community,” Michaels said.

The Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County is a 501(C)3 nonprofit organization that offers a safe, child-friendly site where members of the Multi-Disciplinary Team of Oswego County gather to assist child abuse victims and their families. The CAC also provides community outreach and efforts to aid in the prevention of child abuse throughout Oswego County. If you or someone you know needs the unique help the CAC provides, please call 315-592-4453 or visit www.oswegocac.org.

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