Apr 10, 2013 3:15 PM by Rachel Cole - firstname.lastname@example.org
CORPUS CHRISTI - April is National Child Abuse Prevention month. To raise awareness Child Protective Services employees wore blue to work as part of the Blue Ribbon Campaign that was started more than 20 years ago by a grandmother in Virginia.
Today, CPS employees spoke about why they wear blue and their first hand experience with children that are neglected and abused every year.
In 2012, calls about alleged abuse came in an average of 14 times a day in Nueces County, where people reported children being abused or neglected. That added up to 5,097 children who were in potentially bad situations.
That's why employees showed up to work wearing blue ribbons in hopes of raising awareness of child abuse in the community.
Rose Banda supervises adoption preparations. She says it's important for everyone to be mindful of the thousands of children who are mistreated and need to be adopted by what CPS calls a forever family.
"It's very important that we raise awareness year round about not just preventing child abuse but the need for a forever family," Banda said.
At the end of 2012, CPS officials say that 96 children that were victimized by either abuse or neglect were adopted into their forever family and are no longer victims and just children again.
"I feel very honored to be a part of that because this is something that I actually do with a passion, to be able to be a part of that with the children's lives is very impacting," Banda said.
Banda says, too often children are taken out of their homes for their own safety and sadly become part of the growing statistics.
"We have to keep in mind that the reason why we are having to celebrate that or recognize it, is actually for the children that do come into care and that many of those children end up being wards of the state," Banda said.
She says wearing blue is just one way for CPS to show their compassion but nothing compares to the families that open up to adopting a child.
"Working with families that are stepping forward, opening not just their hearts but their homes for these children is very amazing," she added.
Banda says all of the adoptions are near and dear to her heart.
"There's more than one, I can never just say that there's one in particular because they all have just touched me in one particular way," Banda said.
There is a 3K charity walk Saturday, April 13th for the "A World for Children" organization. Plus, CPS officials say more information on how to become an adoptive parent will be available April 24th at the Corpus Christi Library in Annaville at 6P.M.