Lucas County Children Service calls for action against gun violence

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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) – With more than 1,750 Lucas County children confirmed to have been victims of child abuse or neglect in Lucas County last year, Lucas County Children Services is once again calling on the community at large to help raise awareness of this problem by holding events that shed light on its impact.

For the eleventh consecutive year, the agency is sponsoring Wear Blue Day, April 13, 2022. The campaign calls on citizens who live, work, play, and attend school in Lucas County to post photos of themselves wearing blue to the LCCS Facebook page, with the hashtag #OhioWearsBlue.

The goal is to raise awareness that child abuse continues to impact youth in our community, and that everyone plays a role in keeping kids safe.

On April 28, at 11:00 am, LCCS will livestream its annual Child Memorial on the agency’s Facebook page. This year’s ceremony will remember nine children lost in the past year. Six children were victims of community gun violence.

“In 2021, LCS saw a 22 percent spike in the number of children entering agency custody, reflecting the seriousness of the cases we are encountering,” said Robin Reese, LCS executive director. “Our numbers have returned to pre-pandemic levels and now exceed them, as our community continues to struggle, particularly with gun violence and substance abuse. By December 31, 2021, we had served more than 13,500 children from nearly 5,300 families. Both are increases from 2020.”

The State of Ohio has implemented several changes to its child protection system that will keep more children safe at home, or with kin, rather than in foster care. With LCCS participating in several State-level pilot programs, nearly three-quarters of children receiving services from LCCS remained in their own home or with a kinship caregiver, Reese said.

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