Illinois DCFS holds statewide digital coaching for Youngster Abuse Prevention Month

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) – In observance of Child Abuse Prevention Month, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is hosting training events statewide.

“The past two years have been extremely difficult for all of us. While our schools, businesses, shops and restaurants were closing, reducing hours or ‘going remote’ the support services we provided to families in crisis became even more important as parents lost jobs, children faced disruptions to a stable schedule and the pandemic weighed heavily on the mental health of so many families. Through it all we never wavered from our mission to strengthen families and keep children safe,” said Illinois DCFS Director Marc D. Smith.

Anyone interested in participating can attend the events in person or via livestream:

  • Friday, April 1, 2022 – Carterville kickoff event 1 pm John A. Logan College (Building H Atrium), 700 Logan College Drive, Carterville

Watch the live stream:

  • Friday, April 1, 2022 – Edwardsville kickoff event 10 at the Madison County Government Building, 157 N. Main Street, Edwardsville

Watch the live stream:

  • Friday, April 1 through Saturday, April 30, 2022 – Aurora Art Exhibit Paramount School of the Arts, 20 S. Stolp Ave., Aurora

The exhibit will feature artwork created by children who are currently in care or have been in care, students, local artists and individuals who care about children.

  • Tuesday, April 5, 2022 – Statewide virtual kickoff and training featuring trauma survivor and international trauma-informed care expert Tonier Cain 10 am

Register here:

The month-long observation focuses on child abuse and neglect prevention awareness messages and prevention efforts across the country. This year’s theme, Growing Better Together, is a call to action to support each other and focus on the positive environment we all need to survive and thrive.

Illinoisans can show their commitment to ending child abuse by wearing blue on April 1 and posting pictures on social media with the hashtags #GreatChildhoods and #GoBlueIllinois.

“Our world has changed. Everyone talks about getting back to normal, but the truth is we have a new normal. This new normal includes realizing that things can change in an instant, understanding that we have a responsibility to protect each other and knowing that we are all in this together,” said Denise McCaffrey, executive director of Prevent Child Abuse Illinois. “Child abuse prevention needs to be part of this new normal. April is the perfect time to spread the message that all children deserve great childhoods, and we all have a role to play in keeping children safe.”

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