Wear Jeans April 21 For Child Abuse Prevention

April is national Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month. What can you do to draw attention to child abuse prevention efforts? Wear jeans on April 21.

Families First of Palm Beach County has found a way to involve every member of the community in bringing awareness to the issue. Last year, the organization created the Community Denim Project.

Families First is asking every business, school and community group to join the effort by gathering employees and peers on Friday, April 21 and asking them to donate $5 to be able to wear denim that day.

Last year, the first year for this effort, approximately 40 local businesses participated. The goal is to remind the entire community of the important role that everyone plays in creating a safe and healthy future for the community’s children.

Families First is hoping to double or triple the number of participating organizations this year and is also seeking to include local schools, both public and private.

The Community Denim Project is not just another fundraiser — it is a movement that can collectively make an enormous difference to the county’s most vulnerable children.

The results of child abuse are far-reaching and affect the life trajectory of children well into adulthood. Early abuse and stress on babies and young children actually change the developing brain.

Children from birth to age 5 are the most vulnerable to abuse, and the effects are most damaging. In Palm Beach County alone last year, there were 761 verified cases of child abuse.

The savings for preventing child abuse is enormous in both human and financial terms. For every child kept safe in loving families and out of the child welfare system, the taxpayer saves up to $102,960 in costs of foster care, future involvement in the criminal justice system, school failure and dependence on public resources as adults.

Child abuse prevention requires community partnerships, and Community Denim Day provides a unique, fun and inexpensive way to do just that. It also creates an environment of purpose and teamwork within local businesses and organization.

It’s simple: get business, organizations, homeowners’ association or schools to donate $5 or more on April 21 in exchange for being able to wear jeans that day, or simply donate to the effort to increase child abuse prevention efforts.

Register to be part of the Community Denim Project at www.familiesfirstpbc.org.