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Child Abuse Awareness Day was observed at the steps of the Arkansas State Capitol in Little Rock on April 22 as part of National Child Abuse Prevention month. The Children’s Memorial Flag was flown on the State Capitol grounds. The flag pictures images of children holding hands with an outline of a missing child among them.

Speakers included Division of Children and Family Services Director Cecile Blucker, Arkansas Chief Justice Jim Hannah, former foster child Andre McGowan and Felecia Reed, a former drug addicted mother whose children were once taken into the foster care system until she recovered. More than 3 million children are reported abused and neglected in this country each year. Last year, Arkansas DHS and the Crimes Against Children Unit of the Arkansas State Police substantiated nearly 6,300 cases of abuse and neglect involving more than 8,800 victims. In photo above, Felecia Reed tells her story to the audience. Through her determination, hard work, and cooperation with DHS and community resources, she beat her addiction, regained custody of her children and now has a good life. “I want parents to know that they don’t have to wait until they are at the end of their rope to reach out for help –and being involved with the system doesn’t mean losing your children. It’s hard work for sure-but the resources are there and parents hold the power to change the direction their life is going,” Reed said. View a printable version of this page, from the April Issue of DHS Today.

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Arkansas
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Sep 8, 2009 By FC Steve