In 1983 Congress declared April as national child abuse prevention month.
Social service agencies from across the area gathered at John A Logan College on Friday to kick off child abuse prevention month.
Agencies across southern Illinois gathered raise awareness on child abuse and let the public know about the services they offer and warning signs of child abuse.
The Poshard Foundation, DCFS, Prevent Child Abuse Illinois and other community organizations sponsored the event.
Jo poshard shared some statics about the area in her opening remarks.
“There are almost 3000 youth in care in the southern 34 counties.”
Which is more than the population of Ina in Jefferson County.
Shalynn Malone runs the foster care program for Spero (SPARO) Family services in Mt Vernon.
She oversees adolescents, but sometimes has difficulty with the availability of safe homes.
“We’re always looking for foster parents, we’re looking for people to mentor and love and care for these kids.”
Malone has some advice if you feel a child may be in danger.
“Always, always, always air on the side of caution, if you think a child may be subjected to abuse or neglect call.”
There are other ways you can help, donations of money, supplies and your time to volunteer or mentor kids.
You can call 1-800-25-ABUSE to report child abuse to DCFS anonymously.