DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — People across the Miami Valley wore blue on Wednesday to bring awareness to the importance of a happy, healthy childhood for all kids.
“All Montgomery County citizens have a responsibility to help create healthy safe and nurturing experiences for all children,” said Judy Dodge, Montgomery County Commissioner.
Michelle Neidermier, Director of Montgomery County Job and Family Services said, “We work with families during times of crisis which is not always easy. Wearing blue is more than reporting when you suspect there may be a problem within a home. It’s about being proactive about preventing abuse and neglect.”
During the last months of the 2019-20 school year, officials reported about a 20 percent decrease in reports of abuse and neglect. By June 2020, the reports started to rise. By the end of the year there were 699 children in foster care, the highest number since 2016. Thanks to dedicated caseworkers, 224 children were reunited with family and 83 children were adopted.
Montgomery county finished 2020 with 3,957 investigations into child abuse and neglect.
If you see a parent, neighbor, or friend struggling with their kid’s experts suggest solutions such as being an active listener for kids or offering to watch a child. If you suspect abuse or neglect you can call 937-224-KIDS (5437).