What is the Blue Ribbon Campaign?
In the spring of 1989, a Virginia grandmother began the Blue Ribbon Campaign as a tribute to her grandson. The 3-year-old died at the hands of his mother’s abusive boyfriend. The Blue Ribbon Campaign is a memorial to children who have been touched by abuse and neglect, and a reminder that everyone has a job to do to prevent the maltreatment of children.
The blue ribbon is a positive symbol of the need to do one’s best when it comes to children and families. Since 1989, thousands of people nationwide wear the blue ribbon during April—National Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month—and year round to create awareness of the need to prevent child abuse and neglect.
Child abuse can happen in any home, in any neighborhood, within any family. According to statistics form the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, reporting agencies nationwide received 2.9 million referrals for child abuse and neglect in 2003, and an estimated 1,500 children died from maltreatment.
Becoming involved in the Blue Ribbons for Kids campaign is a good place to start. Building positive parenting skills and improving community support for families also are effective ways to prevent child abuse and neglect.
The Blue Ribbons for Kids awareness campaign was developed by the Wisconsin Children’s Trust Fund, Child Abuse Prevention Fund of Children’s Hospital and Health System and Prevent Child Abuse Wisconsin, creating a public-private partnership of shared resources, planning and materials development. The three not-for-profit organizations have similar missions of supporting families and working to prevent child abuse.The small fee for charged for Blue Ribbons for Kids materials will cover the material development and production costs.
Blue Ribbons for Kids was originally created to help Wisconsin communities coordinate child abuse prevention initiatives by providing easy to use resources and materials to implement a successful awareness campaign. Since its inception, many organizations outside of Wisconsin have requested materials offered through Blue Ribbons for Kids. Most of the inquiries occurred because these organizations could not find child abuse prevention awareness materials that are comprehensive and easy to use in their own states. This strong response convinced us that organizations across the country are searching for high-quality child abuse prevention materials and we wanted to make our materials available to everyone interested in strengthening families and preventing child abuse.