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North Texas child advocates say more resources, foster families needed in ceremony recognizing April as Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month

More than 27,484 reports of child abuse were made in Dallas County in 2021, according to a coalition of child advocacy groups and agencies.

DALLAS — More than 27,484 reports of child abuse were made in Dallas County in 2021, according to children advocates.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Case workers, investigators, and other advocates are working to bring attention to the serious community issue.

In a symbolic gesture, workers and volunteers with Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center read the names of young victims of child abuse.

“I’m here to give a voice to those who can’t speak for themselves,” one worker said, as he approached a podium in Park South YMCA to read names.

The names read during DCAC’s ‘Save Jane’ campaign demonstrated a significant volume of cases and young victims.

“We substitute their names with Jane Doe and John Doe because we want to make sure they remain anonymous, because they are minors,” said Nikisha Biglow with DCAC. 

Awareness included recognizing case workers on the front lines, during an event outside Dallas CASA -Court Appointed Special Advocates in East Dallas. 

“We visit the children in their foster homes. We visit them at schools. We go with foster parents to doctor’s appointments, to therapy appointments. So that our judges know the individual circumstance of each child,” said Kathleen LaValle, CEO of Dallas CASA. 

The organization, and a coalition of partner agencies, are bringing awareness to those workers who have the tough job of investigating child abuse cases.

They set up a memorial to the 18 abused children who died in Dallas County in the past year. Workers with Texas Department of Family and Protective Services said there are ways the community can help. 

“We need mentors for our foster children. We do need foster parents and adoptive parents,” said Tiffani Butler.

Children’s advocates believe it takes a community to help keep youth safe.

Several buildings in Downtown Dallas with be lit in blue Friday evening, April 8, to raise awareness to child abuse prevention. 

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