New initiative in Thunder Bay, Ont., to raise awareness around child abuse and neglect
It's everyone's responsibility to protect children and youth, says children's aid official
Dilico Anishinabek Family Care and the Thunder Bay Children's Aid Society are trying to raise community awareness around child abuse and neglect.
They announced the '#ISeeYou' initiative on Thursday as part of the Step Up 2017 campaign, which has run annually since 2009.
The new efforts involve taking self-portraits drawn by children and youth and hanging them up around the city to raise awareness around child abuse. They will go up in local businesses, neighbourhoods and schools.
"I would like to see them all throughout the year not only for the month," said George Rusnak, the assistant director of child welfare for Dilico.
"Thunder Bay has seen an increasing level of incidents and we are concerned about making sure prevention is key," said Coun. Frank Pullia, who has also been designated as Thunder Bay's child advocate.
According to Pullia, city organizations are reestablishing the Children Charter Coalition to help focus resources on keeping children and youth safe. The program was active until 2010 and included over a dozen local organizations in health, education and social services.
"As a community we all have a responsibility to watch out for and protect and support our children and youth," said Brad Bain, the executive director of the Thunder Bay Children's Aid Society.
There will be a colouring station set up for '#ISeeYou' in the Intercity Shopping Centre from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 15.