Oneida County Declares April As Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month

We All Can Play a Part in Building Community, Building Hope, Keeping Our Children Safe

This month and throughout the year, Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr., Oneida County District Attorney Scott McNamara, and Oneida County Sheriff Robert Maciol encourage all individuals and organizations to play a role in making Oneida County a better place for children and families. Picente, McNamara, and Maciol were joined by several other county officials and organizations today including Commissioner of Social Services Lucielle Soldato & her staff from Child Protective Services, Executive Director of the YWCA of the Mohawk Valley – Dianne Stancato & her staff, and representatives from the New York State Police, the Utica Police Department, the Rome Police Department, and the Whitesboro Police Department to kick off a campaign to make everyone aware of how child abuse & neglect affects those in our community and what we can do to stop it.

Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. began the morning with a proclamation officially recognizing April as Child Abuse Prevention Awareness month followed by remarks from several of the attendees at this morning’s event. Also during the event, everyone had a chance to place a blue colored pinwheel on the front lawn of the Oneida County Child Advocacy Center as a reminder of the many children in Oneida County who have been affected by abuse and neglect. 

“While we of course remain diligent all year long, April is the time we get the chance to really put a spotlight on the myriad of programs and events that continually take place throughout the county to protect our children from abuse,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. “Preventing child abuse is a community effort and the more people we enlist in that fight, the more we can do to keep them safe. Our community partners such as the Thea Bowman House, the Neighborhood Center and the YWCA, as well as our Department of Social Services, the District Attorney’s and the Sheriff’s Office do an amazing job working to prevent child abuse here in Oneida County. I want to thank them for all the work they do and will continue to do in our community.”

“April is a time to celebrate the important role that communities, elected leaders, law enforcement, and child service providers play in protecting children and strengthening families,” said Oneida County Sheriff Robert Maciol. “Everyone’s participation is critical. Focusing on ways to connect with families is one of the best things our community can do to strengthen families and prevent child abuse and neglect.”

“We are honored to be partnering with the Oneida County Child Advocacy Center, not only during Child Abuse Prevention month, but throughout the year with our two recently added CAC advocates,” said YWCA Mohawk Valley Executive Director/CEO Dianne Stancato. “Generating awareness to the tragic occurrence of child abuse has been proven to help fight and reduce the chance of child abuse in a young person’s life. “Wearing blue, displaying pinwheels, turning on blue lights, are all activities that generate questions and communication. As a result, it provides us the opportunity to educate the public about how frequently child abuse occurs. For example, In January and February of 2017, our new Oneida County CAC advocates worked with 132 new referrals. Those statics are alarming. We must come together to stop this terrible abuse of children. Their lives should be full of carefree childhood experiences, not trauma and abuse,” Stancato added.