Government officials joined advocates Tuesday morning in placing pinwheels on the grounds of the Oneida County Child Advocacy Center in Utica to mark National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and a breakfast event is planned next week to recognize caseworkers and staff working in child abuse prevention.
Oneida County Child Protective Services has received more than 4,000 reports of abuse and neglect a year in the past 10 years, according to Social Services Commissioner Colleen Fahy-Box.
She was joined by County Executive Anthony Picente Jr., Sheriff Rob Maciol, CAC Director Chief Deputy Derrick O’Meara, YWCA Mohawk Valley CEO Dianne Stancato and other officials at Tuesday’s ceremony.
“Creating awareness of child abuse is critical to the safety of all children, as they do not have a strong voice alone and rely on the members of the community to be observant and speak up when there are concerns that a child is not being cared for or is mistreated,” Fahy-Box said. “It takes courage to support a child through the whole process but it is critical to ensuring child safety and well-being.”
The County Office Building in Utica has also been lit blue each night in support of child abuse prevention.