Meet Child Abuse Prevention Advocates, Sara Castillo & Arely Cerda
April marks the time to recognize National Child Abuse Prevention Month and the Blue Bow Campaign. We’re highlighting a handful of sponsors and committee members to learn what the month means to them and why it’s so crucial.
Sara Castillo and Arely Cerda of Casa Central are active, dedicated members of our Blue Bow Committee. Sara shared her thoughts on this very important month:
Why is Child Abuse Prevention Month so important? Why is it so meaningful to you?
Child Abuse Prevention Month is important because it brings awareness to the people about the need to care for the most vulnerable. It is meaningful to me as a Child Welfare Specialist because it defines the work that I do trying to help children overcome trauma and make them feel safe in their environment or with others.
What is your approach to preventing child abuse? How are you helping to prevent it?
My approach to prevent child abuse is by making others around me aware of my job and what I see on a daily basis. At our agency we help promote child abuse by handing out blue bows and explain to them the meaning of why we wear them. I wear my t-shirts every Friday of the month of April in order to bring awareness and have others ask me questions about it.
What trends/changes have you seen regarding child abuse over the years? What is making a difference in moving the needle?
I’ve noticed in the three years that I have been working as a Child Welfare Specialist people aren’t very aware of child abuse. Being able to work in an agency that promotes awareness by passing out informational cards to the families. Ensuring that our most vulnerable populations are aware of different signs of abuse and show them how to report suspicion.
What do you want people to know about preventing child abuse?
Child abuse occurs everywhere and it doesn’t matter what the family’s background is. Learn how to understand children and how to remain calm during hard times. Make yourself aware of the tone you use while caring for your children and taking a step back when you are frustrated.
How can others help make a difference?
Wear blue on Fridays in the month of April. Share information about child abuse on social media. Talk with others about how they can help. Wear a blue bow!
What do you do to recognize the month? What does the blue bow mean to you?
- Wear Blue Fridays
- Wear a Blue Bow on my ID lanyard
- Tie blue ribbons outside our agency
- Poster contest
- Calendar with activities for the whole month to keep families engaged
- Pass out informational cards to the families we serve
With a number of family strengthening programs including Doula, Home Visiting and Parents Care & Share, Children’s Home & Aid helps prevent child abuse by supporting parents and helping them build stronger bonds with their children.