IL (April 16, 2004) - On Saturday, April 17, DCFS will host its first
Walk and Rally Against Child Abuse and Neglect in the Austin and Lawndale
communities to mark Child Abuse Prevention Month. The event will help
raise awareness of the need to prevent all forms of abuse and neglect
against children. Information will be available at several tables staffed
by a variety of agencies and organizations that provide services to children
is vital that we take this very important message of prevention directly
into the community," said Bryan Samuels, DCFS Director. "Our
goal is to empower families with information and supportive services to
help them make their homes and communities safer for children."
will begin at noon at the intersection of Congress Parkway and Independence
Boulevard, and continue through the Westside community to finish at the
Garfield Park Fieldhouse (Gold Dome), located at 100 N. Central Park.
A press conference will begin at 2 p.m. at the Fieldhouse. Among those
joining Director Samuels at the press conference will be U. S. Congressman
Danny K. Davis - 7th District, State Representative Annazette Collins
- 10th District, and other Austin and Lawndale community leaders.
the number of children abused or neglected continues to decline, but the
numbers in communities like Lawndale and Austin indicate that there is
still much more work to be done," said Director Samuels. "We
must all work together to make sure everyone involved can help educate
and support families in their prevention efforts."
In the Austin
community, 1,720 children were alleged to have been abused or neglected
in fiscal year 2000. Of those, 491 were found by DCFS to have been abused
or neglected. During that same time, there were 1,677 children in the
North and South Lawndale communities combined alleged to have been abused
or neglected. Of those 457 were found by DCFS investigators to have been
abused or neglected.
In comparison to the most recent complete fiscal year, the numbers show
a slight decline. In the Austin community, 1,516 children were alleged
to have been abused or neglected in fiscal year 2003. Of those, 415 were
found by DCFS to have been abused or neglected. During that same time,
there were 1,325 children in the North and South Lawndale communities
combined alleged to have been abused or neglected. Of those 354 were found
by DCFS investigators to have been abused or neglected.
been a steady decline in alleged reports and confirmed reports of child
abuse and neglect in recent years. In fiscal year 2003, there were 97,453
children reported abused or neglected; 27,590 were found abused or neglected
by DCFS investigators. This compares to fiscal year 2000 when 103,578
children were reported abused or neglected; 32,713 of those were found
by DCFS to be abused or neglected. Protective custodies remain steady
with 5,060 children taken into protective custody in fiscal year 2003
compared to 5,074 children statewide removed from their home in fiscal
month, DCFS joined with Prevent Child Abuse Illinois and others to hold
kick-off events in Chicago and Springfield to recognize programs statewide
that have shown exemplary work in preventing child abuse, and to announce
several events scheduled statewide for the month to help bring awareness
to the issue of child protection.
child abuse should be a year-round priority, not just during the month
of April," said DCFS Director Samuels. "That's why it is so
important for agencies and organizations to get the message out that by
working together, we can keep children safe from harm."
Illinois Department of Children and Family Services