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April is Child Abuse Prevention Month: The New York Foundling Launches Multi-Pronged Awareness Campaign as Part of Year-Round Effort to Prevent Child Abuse

Friday, April 2, 2010 Child Health News J E 4
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NEW YORK, April 1 With the prolonged economic downturn creating dangerous tensions in the home and putting our children at risk of abuse, The New York Foundling, one of the City's oldest and largest child welfare agencies, is launching a multi-pronged public awareness campaign to coincide with Child Abuse Prevention Month. Through the work of The Foundling's Vincent J. Fontana Center for Child Protection, the agency's efforts will educate the public on its role in protecting our children, and complement the Center's year-round commitment to advancing the field of child abuse protection.

The campaign includes: public service announcements to air on the radio; a viral campaign on The Foundling's Facebook® Page; materials that can be downloaded from The Foundling's website, www.nyfoundling.org, including a brochure on the warning signs of child abuse and activity calendars for parents and professionals who work with children and families; public tours of The Fontana Center's educational exhibit on the history and signs of child abuse; and The Center's community awareness event in Battery Park on April 17, 2010 from 11-3.

The Battery Park event will feature the Child Abuse Prevention Program's oversized puppets, which teach children about safe/unsafe touch, and a pinwheel planting for children and families. "Pinwheels for Prevention", a national awareness campaign sponsored by Prevent Child Abuse New York, features a blue pinwheel as a carefree symbol of every child's right to grow up in a happy, safe and nurturing environment.

"Community education is a critical component of The Fontana Center's work to advance the field of child abuse prevention," said Chuck Caputo, the Center's Director. "We are using the national declaration of April as Child Abuse Prevention Month to remind parents, educators, caregivers -- and children -- that recognition and reporting abuse is everyone's job. This campaign will give them the tools to do it. Our work to protect children is ongoing -- The Fontana Center recognizes Child Abuse Prevention Month 12 times a year."

"This is something we focus on around the clock, every day, citywide, but we can't do it alone," said Bill Baccaglini, The Foundling's Executive Director. "We are asking the community for help in supporting the most vulnerable families among us so that our children will feel loved, supported and protected. There is no excuse for child abuse."

The Foundling highlights the following signs of abuse:

To download a brochure detailing the signs of child abuse and learn more about The Foundling's Child Abuse Prevention Month efforts, visit www.nyfoundling.org/capm. To report a harmed child, or a child who may be at risk of harm, contact The New York State Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-342-3720.

About The New York Foundling

Founded as a home for abandoned children, The New York Foundling has been saving children, preserving families and building communities since 1869. The Foundling's diverse network of programs works interactively to provide care for families with multiple social, economic, medical, and psychological needs. In the tradition of openness and compassion of its sponsors, the Sisters of Charity, the agency cares for more than 13,000 people each year in the New York City area and in Puerto Rico as it upholds its guiding principle: Abandon No One.

-- Scratches, bruises, welts, cuts, unexplained burns -- Fear of adults -- Drug and/or alcohol abuse -- Apathy, depression or extreme behavior -- Unsuitable clothing for weather -- Appearance of being dirty or unbathed -- Lack of attachment to parent -- Behavior that is inappropriately adult or inappropriately infantile

SOURCE The New York Foundling
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