Child Protective Services (CPS) investigated more than 160,000 allegations of child abuse or neglect in Texas last year. 156 children died at the hands of their parents or other caregivers, 66,398 were victims of abuse or neglect, and more than 17,000 had to be removed from their homes for their own protection.
Each April, CPS and its parent agency, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), join hands with local governments, community groups, service organizations, activists, and average citizens to put the spotlight on preventing, recognizing, and reporting child abuse.
“While stopping abuse after it happens is critical, it’s not enough. We need to stop it before it starts,” said DFPS Commissioner John Specia. “Many of the parents CPS works with are young, some are poor, and almost all of them are under stress and need some kind of help. Helping parents is one of the keys to preventing child abuse!”
That’s why DFPS’ Help for Parents, Hope for Kids campaign educates parents about child abuse and points them to help in their communities to strengthen their parenting skills and learn to better care for their kids. The campaign’s Facebook page (4MyKid) shares fun and helpful ideas and resources for families, and anyone can download the 2014 Child Abuse Prevention Calendar from HelpandHope.org.
The campaign website, HelpandHope.org, features a number of inspiring testimonials of parents who overcame abuse to become better parents and break the cycle of abuse. These videos are also available on the DFPS You Tube Channel.
“I encourage everyone who cares about children to watch and share these powerful stories, especially with parents who are having a hard time”, said Commissioner Specia. “But, if you suspect abuse is already happening, please report it.”
Learn the signs of child abuse and report your concerns to the Texas Abuse and Neglect Hotline at1-800-252-5400 or online at TxAbuseHotline.org.
7,159,172 # of children in Texas
160,240 # of completed CPS investigations
66,398 # confirmed victims of child abuse or neglect
17,022 # of children removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect
156 # of abuse/neglect child deaths
22,164 # families served by DFPS prevention programs
44,828 # of youth served by DFPS prevention programs
**All statistics are for state fiscal year 2013 (Sept. 1, 2012 - Aug. 31, 2013)