April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and Lutheran Family and Children’s Services (LFCS), which operates an office in Union, is raising awareness to promote safety, stability, and well-being for all children across Missouri.

According to the Missouri Department of Social Services Children’s Division 2017 Annual Report regarding child abuse and neglect, approximately 70,000 cases of child abuse and neglect are reported each year across the state, involving approximately 100,000 children.

“LFCS is committed to serving the children behind the troubling statistics. Our core programs address the challenges children and families face today to reduce future incidents of abuse and neglect,” said Mike Duggar, President and CEO of LFCS. “By proactively equipping our staff, foster parents, and new and expecting parents with positive approaches and coping mechanisms, we can decrease the likelihood of child maltreatment.”

Throughout the month of April, LFCS has been focusing fundraising efforts on education to prevent child abuse and neglect. Statewide, the goal is to raise $30,000 to fund programs that support foster families, counsel trauma victims, and provide proactive parenting education. Those donating can consider the following:

· $9 allows for the basic needs of a child in foster care to be met for one day;

· $38 allows for a pregnant mother to attend one parenting education meeting; and

· $74 allows for a child abuse victim to receive one counseling session from a licensed professional.

“Proactive and reactive services are needed to both prevent and heal the wounds left by child abuse and neglect,” said Duggar. “With help from people across the state, our goal is to break the cycle of abuse.”

Visit lfcsmo.org/end-abuse-in-mo for more information.

About LFCS

LFCS, is a statewide agency with headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri, three regional offices, and numerous satellite service sites. The mission of LFCS is to empower children and families to overcome challenges today so they can build a better tomorrow. As a nonprofit social services organization, its vision is to make generations of children and families safer and stronger together.

LFCS opens doors for people who face poverty, unexpected pregnancy, violence, unemployment, illness, homelessness, and more.

To tackle these challenges, LFCS programs are delivered in two key services areas: Family Services and Behavioral Health Services. A dedicated staff delivers professionalism and personal care in equal measure to every situation and each client who visits one of the many offices in Missouri. LFCS services are open to anyone regardless of race, faith, national origin, gender, or age. For more information, call 314-754-2785 or visit lfcsmo.org.