Child Abuse Prevention Month - April

Child Abuse Prevention Month Kick Off Breakfast - April 2, 2014 at 8:00 am

Child Abuse Prevention Month will kick off with PFSA’s annual legislative breakfast session on April 2 at the Harrisburg Hilton and Towers. This year’s keynote address will be delivered by Loretta Claiborne, a world-class runner, Special Olympics Pennsylvania athlete and internationally acclaimed motivational speaker. Among her hundreds of speaking engagements, she has addressed the United Nations, U.S. Congress, introduced President Clinton at the Special Olympics World Summer Games and appeared twice on the Oprah Show. In 2000, her life story was made into a movie by The Walt Disney Company.

In addition to the keynote presentation, PFSA will recognize members of Pennsylvania’s General Assembly who led the passage of the child abuse reform package. PFSA will also announce the recipient of the fourth Michael A. O’ Pake Memorial Award for Media Public Service, which recognizes a news media outlet for outstanding commitment to covering child welfare issues. The event will include proclamations for Child Abuse Prevention Month from Governor Tom Corbett and the state House and Senate.  Click here to purchase tickets.

Painting for Prevention 2014

A highlight of the observance since 2008, this year’s Painting for Prevention murals will have the theme “On the Edge of Adulthood: Teens Paint for Prevention.” Teens involved in after school activities, mentoring groups, Independent Living programs and volunteer organizations will design and create the murals in Sunbury (Northumberland County) on Thursday, April 17 (click here for flyer this event)  and in Philadelphia on April 26. In Philadelphia, PFSA will be partnering with Catholic Social Services, Mariana Bracetti Academy and Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Southeastern PA as teens and their mentors (employees from Vanguard Corporation) to bring to life the teens’ vision of moving from childhood to adulthood. In Sunbury, we are partnering with Northumberland County Children and Youth, Shikellamy High School Key Club, and the Degenstein Community Library to create a mural about community strengths and supports for teens.


PFSA has created posters that serve as an ongoing reminder of our Painting for Prevention events.  Click here to see all the posters of past murals and to purchase a poster to support Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Other Events for April 2014

  • Something new this year is a partnership between PFSA and Hershey Entertainment & Resorts, which has designated PFSA as one of their recipients of net proceeds from the Hershey 10K Race to be held on April 13. “We are pleased to support the efforts of PFSA,” said Kevin Stumpf, General Manager of Attractions & Entertainment for Hershey Entertainment & Resorts. “PFSA has played a critical role in training educators and professionals to know the signs and how to report child abuse. They also play a key role in empowering communities to speak up and speak out against child abuse.” The race will take runners through Hersheypark and other historic Hershey landmarks and is limited to 2,500 runners. To register or for more information on the Hershey 10K Race, please visit link to this; no registrations will be taken on the day of the race.

  • Two sessions of our popular community prevention program, the Front Porch Project will be held in April – on April 8 in Lancaster (click here for link to flyer) and April 10 in Sunbury (click here for link to flyer.)  To learn more about the Front Porch Project click here.

  • PFSA will be participating in the Project Child Annual Conference on April 1, 2014 in Bethlehem. The theme of the conference is “No Such Thing as a Bad Kid”. Find out more at

  • The amendments to the Child Protective Services Law and mandated reporters will be the topic of PFSA’s workshop at the Adams County Child Abuse Prevention Conference on April 15 in Gettysburg.

  • We will be presenting a workshop entitled “Strategies and Techniques for Empowering Parents with Psychiatric Disabilities” at the PA Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services conference on April 22. Click here for information.

View Past Events:

What Can You Do To Prevent Child Abuse?

Every citizen, parent and neighbor can do something to prevent child abuse. Learn what you can do to help. 

 Why Blue Ribbons?

In the spring of 1989, a grandmother named Bonnie Finney took a stand against child abuse in Norfolk, Virginia. She tied a blue ribbon on the antenna of her mini van in remembrance of her late grandson and as a signal to her community that child abuse continues to be a devastating social plague.

Her grandson, Michael Wayne "Bubba" Dickenson and his siblings lived an at-risk existence in an abusive home environment. Despite Finney's efforts to intervene on behalf of her grandchildren, his mother's boyfriend murdered three-year-old Bubba. His body was found, bound, beaten and bruised, in a weighted toolbox at the bottom of a canal.

"One day I was just thinking about all the bruises I had seen on my grandchildren," Finney said. "I just decided I was going to tie a blue ribbon on my van. Why blue? I intend never to forget the battered, bruised bodies of my grandchildren. Blue serves as a constant reminder to me to fight for protection for our children."

Finney's personal campaign to raise public awareness of child maltreatment was joined by a Norfolk parent assistance program and a local radio station. Soon, stores, businesses, schools, churches, civic organizations and social service agencies were participating in the campaign and thousands of blue ribbons were displayed in the name of child abuse prevention. The spirit of her blue ribbon grew and inspired a statewide community-based effort to prevent child abuse in every town, every community and every city and county.

Bonnie Finney's simple act of education and remembrance has inspired a nationwide movement and led states throughout the country participate in the campaign by designating the month of April each year Child Abuse Prevention Month.

"The blue ribbon (click here to order blue ribbon pins) serves as a constant reminder to fight for the protection of children," Finney explained. "We must protect our most precious gift of all - our children. Even if we just change one child's life, it would be worth it. I don't want other parents or grandparents to go through what we've been through. During the month of April, I hope all Americans will wear a blue ribbon, put one on their cars, give them to friends and tell anyone who asks what it means. You may save a child's life."

Can one person make a difference? Bonnie Finney did...and you can too. Click here to find out what you can do to prevent child abuse.

The Cost of Child Abuse 

What does child abuse cost in dollars and cents? Protecting children and preventing child abuse makes sense. Read PFSA’s 2010 research on the total cost of child abuse in PA.

The Power of One: The Front Porch Project® In Pennsylvania

How many times have you witnessed a parent struggling with a child in the midst of a tantrum in a public place?  Have you ever been concerned that your neighbor is leaving her young children home alone? How often have you observed a child in your neighborhood playing unsupervised in the street? How often have you struggled with questions about whether or how to help a child? 

You’re not alone. Find out about our new training – open to anyone who wants to learn more about how to protect PA’s kids from abuse. 

Mandated Reporter Training Available

People who come in contact with children as a result of their job are required to report suspected child abuse. Through the Department of Public Welfare, PFSA is able to offer training on recognizing and reporting child abuse and neglect. Scheduling a training session at your location is easy and free for most organizations. Scheduling is flexible, and sessions may be offered during the day or evening, seven days a week. Find out more

 Child Abuse Prevention Month Materials

  • Order Blue Ribbon Pins and Magnets  here (click on "Child Abuse Prevention Month Resources" in our online store). 
  • Prevention Bookmarks  - Download, print and cut these bookmarks listing "10 Things You Can Do To Prevent Child Abuse."
  • Download "What Can I Do To Prevent Child Abuse?" here.
  • Download "What does child abuse cost Pennslvania each year?" here.