More than 14,000 Oklahoma children were abused and neglected in 2021. In an effort to raise public awareness about child abuse prevention, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) invites organizations and individuals to decorate trees with blue ribbons in April for National Child Abuse Prevention Month.
National Child Abuse Prevention Month recognizes the importance of families and communities working together to strengthen families to prevent child abuse and neglect. The blue ribbon is the international symbol for the prevention of child abuse.
“April is a time to celebrate the important role communities play in protecting children,” said Sherie Trice, Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (CBCAP) Grants Coordinator for the OSDH. “Everyone’s participation is essential. Focusing on ways to support and strengthen families, in every interaction, is the best thing our community can do to prevent child abuse and promote optimal child development.
Organizers of the 14th annual “Build a Blue Ribbon Tree for Kids” campaign have set a goal of 2,022 registered Blue Ribbon Trees statewide this year. All blue-colored materials can be used to create the Blue Ribbon Trees. Blue flagging tape has been the decorative material of choice for many attendees in previous years for its durability, visibility and low cost.
Blue Ribbon Tree entry forms can be downloaded online. April 30 is the deadline to register.
Photos of your registered Blue Ribbon Tree posted on social media with the hashtag #GoBlueOK will be featured on OSDH’s social media platforms and the Family Support and Prevention Service website, and will be featured throughout throughout the year in a community partnership video slideshow shown at organized events. by the Office of Child Abuse Prevention.
“We hope to see more schools, businesses, churches and individuals participating in the campaign this year as we reach that goal,” said Jennifer Emfinger, marketing coordinator for the Oklahoma CASA Association and member of the campaign planning committee. “Decorating a blue tree is an easy way to be part of something positive in your community and show your support for children who desperately need our help.”
Contact Sherie Trice at (405) 426-8060 or [email protected] for more information or to request an enrollment form.