JAK ‘n Blue

Turn the Town Blue

There are so many campaigns, fundraisers, and events that are awesomely relevant in my personal life and your lives too, yet there is one common denominator that binds us JAK people together, and that’s our interest in the health and well-being of children.  Our own children and our community’ s children.

Nothing was more heart-wrenching than the recent report of the Madison 15 year old girl that was held captive, repeatedly raped, denied food and access to normal hygiene practices right in her own family’s home, rather basement. Thanks, stepmonster and dad.  Read More

I am a strong proponent of eradicating child abuse and neglect!  And this story is so horrific that I felt the time is more than appropriate for me to take a public stand and join in the campaign in a bigger way than ever.  So I am going to use Just Add Kids’ platforms to take a stand by turning blue in support of Kenosha County’s Child Abuse & Neglect Prevention Campaign “Turn the Town Blue” which is a collaborative effort being spearheaded by many county services agencies and organizations.

You can participate too by checking out our website’s Happenings page.  There, by the blue ribbon, you can download a template for a ribbon that you/your kids can color blue and talk about the subject.

Just Add Kids’ Facebook page has created a JAK ‘n Blue for “Turn the Town Blue” event page.  There you can participate by copying and downloading the blue ribbon icon and post as your own Facebook profile pic.  Yes, even you Racine peeps can participate!

Throughout the month, I’ll be sharing info that will help to protect children, strengthen families and the community as a whole, (we hope!), starting with the info I received from Prevention Services Network (PSN) Family Resource Center.

Five Protective Factors that  Strengthen Families and Protect Children

 1 –Nurturing and Attachment

Children’s early experiences of being nurtured and developing positive bonds with adult caregivers have a profound effect on their ability to grow up to be emotionally and socially competent.  When children and parents have a close, trusting relationship, the children grow up believing they will be loved, accepted and protected.  These children are better prepared for life.

2 – Knowledge of child development and parenting

Parents with knowledge about parenting and their own child’s development have more appropriate expectations and use more developmentally appropriate guidance techniques. Parents who understand how children grow and develop can set up an appropriate environment for them to flourish. 

3 – Concrete support in times of need

There are factors outside the family unit that affect the family’s ability to care for their children.  Families need food, shelter, clothing, transportation, access to affordable health care, and quality child care to parent appropriately.  Some families need help finding resources to address issues of addiction or domestic violence.  Helping connect families to needed resources reduces stress and helps parents cope.

4 – Social connections

Whenever a family is isolated from family or community, the children are more at risk. Trusted family members and caring friends provide the emotional support parents need to face the challenges of parenting.  Parents also learn coping skills and experiences different parenting styles through interactions with other parents.  All parents need help sometimes. 

5 – Parent Resilience

Resilience is the ability to bounce back from difficulties. Resilient parents are able to recognize and acknowledge difficulties while maintaining a positive attitude.  They can creatively solve problems, and effectively address challenges. When parents are resilient, they are less likely to take their frustrations out on their children.

The information in this handout came from a publication called, “Strengthening Families and Communities,” by the Department of Health & Human Services.  Visit the website at www.childwelfare.gov/preventing

For more information and resources about building strong families visit the Prevention Services Network (PSN) Family Resource Center located at the Kenosha County Human Services Building, 8600 Sheridan Road, Kenosha, WI 53143.  PSN open hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:00PM to 4:00PM.  You may also receive a free monthly PSN newsletter by calling Kathy Burns, PSN Outreach Specialist, at 262-697-4628 or via email at Kathy.burns@kenoshacounty.org.

Also, don’t forget to attend the “Celebrate Families” event on Friday, March 30th at the Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha (1330 52nd Street) which kicks off the month long “Turn the Town Blue” campaign.
4:00-5:00 Ceremony
5:00-6:30 Celebrate Families Activities
• Performance by the Boys & Girls Club Singers
• Great community resources
• Create your own “Tool Kit” for strong families
• Slogan contest winner revealed



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