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By BladenOnline Team

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. Bladen County Department of Social Services (DSS) staff members will hold its Annual Butterfly Release outside their office on Friday, April 28, 2023, in honor of children who have died due to neglect in North Carolina this year.

Social Work Program Manager Jill Sampson announced all community members are invited to attend. The program will start at (12) noon in front of the DSS office at 208 E McKay Street in Elizabethtown, NC. The local DSS organizes an event each year around the end of April to bring awareness to child abuse prevention. 

Most of us want the best for children. However, child abuse and neglect are all too common occurrences. Abuse is the intentional maltreatment of a child. It can be physical, sexual, or emotional. Neglect, conversely, is failure to give a child the necessary care they need.

According to the NC Child Fatality Task Force, “North Carolina lost 1,279 children in 2020, which is the latest year that finalized data is available.”

If you are a parent who needs help, please ask. It will not be seen as a sign of weakness but as a sign of strength. Triple P’s – Positive Parenting Program is a free online program. Visit the NC Services and Information Catalog, or call the DHHS Customer Service Center (1-800-662-7030) for assistance finding programs and people to help you.

If someone wants to make a child abuse report, call 910-862-6800 during regular business hours and ask to speak to an intake social worker. After hours anyone can call 910-862-8142 and ask to speak to the on-call intake social worker to file a report.

Note: Again this year, Vicky Pait, with Families First in Whiteville donated the butterflies for the event.

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