Child abuse and neglect are on the rise in Lucas County, and Lucas County Children Services (LCCS) invites the community to participate in its upcoming Child Abuse Prevention Month activities.
On April 10, LCCS is urging Lucas County residents to join Ohioans statewide in the “Wear Blue” campaign as a reminder that child abuse is preventable. Now in its second year, the campaign urges people from all walks of life to demonstrate their commitment to protecting children from maltreatment by wearing blue on this day.
LCCS is encouraging people to post photos of themselves wearing blue on April 10 on the agency’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/LucasCountyChildrenServices, by tweeting their photo to @LucasCoOHKids or emailing them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ten Lucas County children died in 2012 as a result of some kind of maltreatment. LCCS will remember these children at its annual child memorial April 19 at 11:30 a.m. at the agency’s offices at 705 Adams St., Toledo. The solemn ceremony will include raising the child memorial flag and musical performances by the Toledo School for the Arts choir. The public is encouraged to attend.
Child abuse and neglect statistics
In 2012, LCCS received 4,959 referrals for suspected child abuse or neglect, a 20 percent increase over 2011. The reports involved 7,347 alleged child victims, a 22 percent increase, and led to Children Services confirming that 822 children were maltreated.
Forty-four percent of the children abused were five years old or younger. The most referrals came from the 43605 ZIP code, but the highest rate of referrals came from the 43604 ZIP code, where more than 123 of every 1,000 children were the subject of a report of suspected abuse or neglect.