ChildSafe’s Cardboard Kids campaign is getting an early start this year to allow more citizens to be part of the community-wide program designed to heighten awareness about child abuse and neglect. Cardboard Kids are memorable 2-foot high cardboard kid cutouts that individuals, civic groups, schools and businesses PICK-UP, DECORATE and DISPLAY on April 7.
They will be distributed free to the public in March at the following locations:
San Antonio Area Malls, March 11-13, and March 18 – 20:
Fridays 1 pm – 6 pm; Saturdays 10 am – 6 pm, and Sundays – noon to 5 pm.
Ingram Park Mall – lower level outside of Dillard’s
North Star Mall - lower level under the escalators leading up to the Food Court
Rolling Oaks Mall - lower lever center court near Guest Services
The Shops at La Cantera - center court on the compass star
ChildSafe, Bexar County’s only Children’s Advocacy Center, created Cardboard Kids to achieve a new level of awareness of child abuse by “putting a face” on it and engaging our community during April, which is National Child Abuse Awareness Month.
More than 20,000 Cardboard Kids were distributed last year, representing the thousands of abused and neglected children in our community. ChildSafe hopes to double the number of Cardboard Kids displayed during this year’s campaign, made possible by the generous support of Valero Energy Foundation.
Citizens are asked to join in this effort by:
Pick up a Cardboard Kid at an area mall during a distribution weekend. Decorate the Cardboard Kid while talking to your kids about child abuse and personal safety. The Cardboard Kids’ website has tips for how to talk to children about personal boundaries and safety.
On April 7, take your Cardboard Kid wherever you go and display it in a prominent spot. Take a photo of your Cardboard Kid, or any others you see in the community April 7, and share it on social media using #cardboardkidsSA to begin a dialogue about this pressing issue.
“Unfortunately, child abuse occurs across every demographic; it knows no borders, it happens everywhere,” said Kim Abernethy, ChildSafe CEO. “So ChildSafe created Cardboard Kids to illustrate the pervasiveness of the issue and the fact that every story is different and every child unique,” she said.
The most recent report related to child abuse statistics provided by Texas Department of Family and Protective Services for 2015 confirmed the number of children suffering from maltreatment to be 4,941
in Bexar County. There were four child deaths due to child abuse and neglect in that same year.
Of the top four counties in Texas that have the highest number of confirmed cases of child abuse and neglect, Harris, Dallas, Tarrant and Bexar, Bexar County has the highest incidents of child abuse per capita, based on child populations.
ChildSafe will also be displaying Info Kids, larger Cardboard Kid cutouts showcasing a startling national statistic that is also valid in San Antonio: 4 to 5 children die of child abuse and neglect every day in the U.S. (source: https://www.childhelp.org/child-abuse-statistics/).
“The issue of child abuse and neglect is one that the community must confront together, from all corners of our city, as it is too big for one organization or individual to tackle alone,” said Abernethy.
ChildSafe is one of 68 Children’s Advocacy Centers in the state of Texas, and the only one serving Bexar County. Its staff performs forensic interviews, crisis intervention, case management services, counseling, and advanced therapy to aid in the healing of child victims of abuse and neglect. They work with Child Protective Services, law enforcement, and prosecutors to bring perpetrators to justice.
To learn more about Cardboard Kids, visit www.cardboardkidsSA.com. Anyone can be a part of this campaign!
For more information about ChildSafe, please visit www.childsafe-sa.org or call (210) 675-9000.