Many thanks to the McLean County region for supporting Children’s Home + Aid’s annual blue bow campaign against child abuse and neglect. The blue bows tied around trees during National Child Abuse Prevention month in April remind us of the hidden bruises of abused children.
In 2015, McLean County reported over 1,600 cases of child abuse and neglect. At Children’s Home + Aid, we’re committed to ending child abuse through our parent support programs, like our crisis nursery and Parents Care + Share support groups.
Our crisis nursery — the only one of its kind in the region — offers free, 24-hour childcare in a safe environment for children under 7 in times of family crisis. Just over 220 children were admitted to the nursery in 2016. The result? The overwhelming majority of parents — 87 percent — said the break they received from the nursery prevented them from possibly abusing and/or neglecting their child.
In our Parents Care + Share support groups, more than 240 local parents in 2016 came together to listen, learn and encourage each other through the stresses of parenting. The results? A high 75 percent reported an improvement in their parenting skills.
And these are just a few of our many programs to protect children and move families forward. But we need your help in continuing our fight against child abuse and neglect in our community. If you are interested in volunteering or making a donation please visit us childrenshomeandaid.org or call us 309-827-0374.
Darci Thompson, Bloomington
The writer is regional coordinator for Parents Care + Share, Children’s Home + Aid