Provided by Rob Crissinger, Oklahoma State Dept. of Health
More than 14,000 Oklahoma children suffered abuse and neglect in 2021. In an effort to raise public awareness for child abuse prevention, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) is inviting organizations and individuals to decorate trees with blue ribbons during April for National Child Abuse Prevention Month.
National Child Abuse Prevention Month recognizes the importance of families and communities working together to strengthen families to prevent child abuse and neglect. The blue ribbon is the international symbol for child abuse prevention.
“April is a time to celebrate the important role that communities play in protecting children,” said Sherie Trice, OSDH Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (CBCAP) Grant Coordinator “Everyone’s participation is critical. Focusing on ways to support and strengthen families, in every interaction, is the best thing our community can do to prevent child maltreatment and promote optimal child development.”
Organizers of the 14th Annual “Build a Blue Ribbon Tree for Kids” campaign have set a goal of 2,022 registered Blue Ribbon Trees statewide this year. Any blue-colored materials may be used to create the Blue Ribbon Trees. Blue flagging tape has been the decorating material of choice for many participants in previous years for its durability, visibility and low cost.
Blue Ribbon Tree registration forms are available to download online. April 30 is the deadline to register.
Photos of your registered Blue Ribbon Tree posted to social media with the #GoBlueOK hashtag will be featured on OSDH social media platforms and the Family Support and Prevention Service website, and will be showcased throughout the year in a community partnership video slideshow presented at events hosted by the Office of Child Abuse Prevention.
“We hope to see more schools, businesses, churches and individuals participate in the campaign this year as we reach for this goal,” said Jennifer Emfinger, marketing coordinator for the Oklahoma CASA Association and member of the campaign planning committee. “Decorating a Blue Ribbon Tree is an easy way to be part of something positive in your community and show support for children who so desperately need our help.”
Contact Sherie Trice at (405) 426-8060 or eat0@eau0eav0eaw0 for more information or to request a registration form.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) protects and improves public health through its system of local health services and strategies focused on preventing disease. OSDH provides technical support and guidance to 68 county health departments in Oklahoma, as well as guidance and consultation to the two independent city-county health departments in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Learn more at Oklahoma.gov/health.
See more about OSDH Invites Oklahomans to Create ‘Blue Ribbon Trees’ for Child Abuse Prevention Month: