From the Dubois County Free Press:
Last night, Dubois County joined other 83 other organizations across the state in recognizing the states’ most vulnerable citizens, its children.
The candlelight service was organized by the Indiana Department of Child Services, Families with Direction —the Dubois County chapter of Prevent Child Abuse Indiana— and the Kids First Trust Fund.
About 30 people were on hand to wave pinwheels and hold lighted candles as part of the ceremony held at the Jasper Inn and Convention Center.
Judge William Weikert told the crowd that as a society we are doing a much better job of teaching our children to report abuse and events like this are important to continue to educate children and adults to be aware of child abuse.
According to Amy Tempel, director of the local Department of Child Services office, the vigils are being held in conjunction with Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month in Indiana.
Tempel said, “This is not a job, this is my passion.”
During her remarks she acknowledged that vigils like this are important to practicing her personal mantra of ”acting, not reacting.”
According to the most recent data from the Indiana Youth Institute, there were 5.2 cases of child abuse per 1000 children under the age of 18 in the county in 2011. This continues a downward trend in reported cases of child abuse in the county over the previous three years of data.
Among 1.6 million children statewide in 2011 there were 12.2 cases of child abuse and neglect reported per 1000 children, down from 14.5 reported cases in 2010.
Other speakers at the event included Leslie Sturm with Families with Direction and Sheriff Donny Lampert.