April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and to raise awareness of the vital need for collaboration to prevent child abuse, Cattaraugus County Department of Social Services employees are wearing blue every Friday in April.
The annual financial impact of child abuse and maltreatment in the United States is over $124 billion in foster care, medical and mental health services, special education, and criminal justice services according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Child abuse impacts more than 156,000 families and every community in New York State. Cattaraugus County’s Department of Social Services Child Protective Services Unit investigated 1,813 alleged cases of child abuse and neglect in 2022. They partnered with various county departments, courts, law enforcement agencies and service providers to assist families whose children were at risk of out-of-home placement or who were placed in foster care due to immediate safety concerns.
For information on how to help the county’s foster care and preventative services programs or on how to become a foster parent, contact Evonne Phillips Director of Services at 716-701-3574 or Evonne.Phillips@dfa.state.ny.us