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Children’s Advocacy Centers Spotlighted in Observance of Child Abuse Prevention Month

Written by on April 22, 2024

Image Courtesy of the official website of McLean County

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – McLean County is one of many recognizing Child Abuse Prevention Month this April. Executive Director of Children’s Advocacy Centers of Illinois Kim Mangiaracino spoke more to center’s purpose, and the month’s significance.

She shared that all 41 departments across Illinois investigate allegations of children who have experienced child sexual or physical abuse, or other maltreatment such as domestic violence, witness to domestic violence or witness to serious crimes.

“The whole point of a Children’s Advocacy Center is for a child and their caregiver to have a place to go to when there are these really horrendous things happening in their life and have a place to talk about them in a way that they are comfortable and able to while still getting the information needed for a possible criminal case or a case with the Department of Children and Family Services to ensure their safety,” she said.

Mangiaracino added that Child Abuse Prevention Month brings awareness to the subject and promotes discussion.

“It draws attention from the decision makers and from the public to really focus their efforts on being able to educate, advocate for, and champion the issue, as well as to really celebrate the progress that’s been made,” she said.

Mangiaracino shared her biggest piece of advice for parents and those that care for children.

“Be aware of the people in your kids’ life,” said Mangiaracino. “Be aware of behavioral changes kids might be experiencing, and always make it okay for them to tell you anything. Listen with as open of a mind as possible when kids want to talk to you.”