April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time when people around the country come together to acknowledge the importance of families and communities, support one another, and reinforce and raise awareness surrounding child abuse.
Closer to home and year round, the Lancaster County Children’s Alliance plays a key role in the lives of child victims of abuse and their families by providing them comprehensive, coordinated and compassionate services. Since opening its doors in 2006, the LCCA has served over 4,700 children, 679 last year alone.
“We urge people to wear a blue ribbon or display pinwheels to raise awareness of the importance of this month and as a symbol of our commitment to protect our children and end child abuse,” said Mary Halye, the LCCA’s manager. “ 'Speak up and speak out' is our catch phrase, and we urge everyone to protect children from abuse, not only during this month, but every day of the year,” she added.
LCCA calls on various professionals from child protection, law enforcement, prosecution, victim advocacy, and the medical and mental health communities to form multidisciplinary teams as needed, teams that provide timely, coordinated, child-focused investigative and intervention services. Members of these teams share one overarching mission: to support children and their families with concerns of abuse by providing coordinated assessment, counseling, medical evaluations, investigations and community education.
The LCCA consists of Lancaster General Health/Penn Medicine, the Lancaster County Children & Youth Social Service Agency, the Sexual Assault Prosecution Unit of the District Attorney's Office, YWCA Sexual Assault Prevention and the Counseling Center, and many law enforcement jurisdictions in Lancaster County.
To report a concern about possible child abuse, call ChildLine at 1-800-932-0313. For information on the LCCA, contact Mary Halye at firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-544-7973.