The month of April is Child Abuse Prevention Month.
In honor of Child Abuse Awareness Month, the Hutchinson County Child Welfare Board will be hosting a 5K run on Saturday, April 23, 2011. The race will start at 8am from the park beside the Museum on Main St.
The cost of registration is $25, and this includes a go blue t-shirt. Children under 10 are free if accompanied by a registered parent (no t-shirt will be provided for these children). The public is also encouraged to wear blue on this day for the “Go Blue” statewide campaign to raise awareness to child abuse awareness.
Abuse is not only physical but neglect as well. A child craves attention and will try to get it with either good or bad behavior.
“It’s time to focus on ways not only to protect children but also too prevent abuse from ever occurring” said Marilyn Brown, member of the Child Welfare Board. “This is our opportunity to make a difference in young lives.”
Neglect is the most frequent form of child abuse according to the state agency charged with protecting children.
“Yes, Children die simply because they’re put into situations where they are not supervised,” Brown stated. “But parents are not alone.”
The web site www.itsuptoyou.org  contains some information on how to prevent child abuse, where to go get help with parenting skills, and what to do if you suspect a child is in danger. Also, volunteers from the Hutchinson County Child Welfare Board are in the community sharing information in the form of Child Abuse Prevention Kits.
The county does provide some funds to help with clothing for all the foster children in Hutchinson County. The welfare board depends on fundraisers to help provide these services, believing there is so much it can do to help these children adjust as they leave foster care.
The region hosts a PAL Teen conference, targeting the children who are aging out of the system. This teaches them basic skills so that they can manage on their own.
Just Hutchinson County alone averages around 60 foster children at all times. Most of the children removed from homes locally have to be place outside of our county because as there are not enough foster parents available in Hutchinson County.
For more information, you can contact your local Child Protective Services office or any Hutchinson County Child welfare board member for more information.