Be a Part of the Solution

By Rebecca Bax, Program Specialist Missouri KidsFist – SAFE-CARE Program

Abuse is the most prevalent health problem children face with the most serious array of consequences.

Statistics show one in 10 children will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday. During fiscal year 2017, the Child Abuse/Neglect Hotline Unit received 129,807 reports of abuse. Of those, 68,014 reports involving 98,270 children were classified as “Investigations or Assessments” and were completed by the Children’s Division.

Missouri KidsFirst is a non-profit agency in Jefferson City dedicated to empowering adults to end child abuse now. We are the state chapter for Prevent Child Abuse America (PCA Missouri) and the state chapter for National Children’s Alliance (The network of Child Advocacy Centers). We invite you to join us in our battle and to show your support for Child Abuse Prevention Month in several ways:

Blue pinwheels are a symbol of hope, health, and the happy childhoods that every kid deserves. Help us paint our community blue during April by planting Pinwheel Gardens! Pinwheel Gardens are not only great conversation starters about child abuse prevention, but they’re beautiful on a breezy April afternoon! Our goal is to sell 20,000 pinwheels. Orders can be made on our website www.missourikidsfirst.org

Promote child abuse prevention by purchasing one of our Pinwheels for Prevention t-shirts and then wearing it every Friday in April. When you wear your shirt, take a “selfie” and tag Missouri KidsFirst (@MoKidsFirst on social media. Our goal is to sell 700 shirts. We can do it!

To disrupt the cycle of abuse, Missouri KidsFirst is providing organizations and agencies across the state with the opportunity to host a Stewards of Children training session. Stewards of Children is a two-hour child sexual abuse training to teach adults how to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly. It is free and available to businesses, civic organizations, churches or any other community group that would like to be better informed and equipped when interacting with children. To schedule a Stewards training contact Emma Overschmidt by email at Emma@missourikidsfirst.org or by phone at 573-632-4600.

Join us, Monday, April 29 when Missouri KidsFirst will be hosting our Standing With Children Luncheon to celebrate those who advocate for children and to raise awareness about the important work led by Missouri KidsFirst across the state.

The annual Standing with Children Luncheon is our biggest fundraising event of the year. Financial support of this event would help to ensure that Missouri KidsFirst can continue to provide statewide leadership, essential training and professional development opportunities for child abuse professionals throughout Missouri.

The luncheon, to be held at the Millbottom Event Center, 400 West Main, Jefferson City, is open to the public. Tickets are currently $50 and available to purchase on our website . Tickets will also be available at the door for $50.

At the luncheon, Missouri KidsFirst will present the 6th annual Standing with Children awards.

And, finally please help us meet our fundraising goals to continue the good work we do daily by sharing this information with your friends, family, colleagues, and network of contacts. Thanks you for supporting the incredible work Missouri KidsFirst does in Missouri to END Child Abuse NOW!