April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and since 1989, people nationwide wear the blue ribbon and carry blue pinwheels in April to create awareness of the need to keep kids safe and families strong.
“Focusing on ways to build and promote the protective factors in every interaction with children and families is the best thing our community can do to prevent child maltreatment and promote optimal child development,” Siefker told local reporters.
There will be a ceremonial “parade” around the campus on Saturday, April 2nd at the SAYS campus from 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., refreshments, free children’s activities plus tables set up with parenting information and people on hand to answer questions about the resources available in St. Johns County.
Community partners in attendance will include Bucky Beaver from Beaver Toyota, Betty Griffin House, Big Brothers Big Sisters of St Johns County, First Tee, Flagler College CROP program, Girls on the Run, Health Planning Council of Northeast Florida, Southeast Branch Library, St Johns County Health Department, Vickie Oakes Supervisor of Elections, Stuart Marchman Behavioral Health Care, and, System of Care Circuit 7. Weather permitting, the St Johns County Sheriff Office will be providing a helicopter plus a crime scene technician will be on site.
“During the month of April and throughout the year, St. Augustine Youth Services is dedicated to supporting families and reducing the risk of child abuse and neglect,” spokesperson Robin Burchfield said. “By working together as a community, we all can play a part in promoting children’s emotional well-being and strengthening families.”
SAYS is a residential group home which provides therapeutic services for boys who have experienced severe emotional trauma, such as child abuse and neglect. They are celebrating 27 years of serving children and three years in their US-1 South campus facility.