HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance (PFSA), the state leader in child abuse prevention, and its leading sponsors, including Pennsylvania’s anytime, anywhere digital credit union, PSECU, launched the nomination period for the 2020 PA Blue Ribbon Champions for Safe Kids Awards Wednesday. Recipients will be announced in April, National Child Abuse Prevention Month, at ceremonies in Harrisburg and Pittsburgh.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services’ Annual Child Protective Services Report, 47 children in the commonwealth died of child abuse in 2018. A total of 5,102 children were victims of abuse, including 89 children who suffered near-fatal injuries.

“No child should ever be neglected or abused, and it is our responsibility to work together as a community to ensure that every child living in Pennsylvania has the opportunity to grow up in a safe environment. Our vision is to create a future that is free of abuse and neglect, but in order to make that happen we need everyone to become a Champion for Safe Kids,” said Angela M. Liddle, President and CEO of PFSA. “If you know someone who has gone above and beyond to put the safety of children first, I would encourage you to nominate that individual for our PA Blue Ribbon for Safe Champions Awards — the nomination process is simple and free, and the application can be completed online.”

As in years past, PFSA will honor five statewide individuals for their efforts to protect the well-being of children, including two child welfare professionals, two community volunteers, and one media professional. Any individual who has worked or volunteered to protect Pennsylvania children from abuse and neglect is eligible. Media nominees must have covered Pennsylvania child abuse-related issues in 2019. Award recipients will be announced and celebrated at a ceremony on April 8 in the Pennsylvania State Capitol Rotunda.

PFSA also will honor one Allegheny County Champion for Safe Kids. Eligible nominees include any professional, volunteer, press member, or media entity whose work focused on children affected by abuse in Allegheny County. A ceremony will be held in Pittsburgh on April 1 to honor both the award recipient and the child victims of abuse.

2020 PFSA PA Blue Ribbon Champions for Safe Kids Awards nomination forms, criteria, and instructions are available at pablueribbonchampion.org/nominate. The deadline for nomination entries is February 24. Independent panels of judges will determine the winners.

“Through the PA Blue Ribbon Champions for Safe Kids Awards, we’re coming together as a Pennsylvania community to recognize and thank individuals who go above and beyond to make sure our children are safe from harm and also help raise awareness around this very serious issue,” said PSECU President and CEO George Rudolph. “As a credit union, PSECU is committed to the ‘people helping people’ philosophy. Our support of Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance and these awards is a demonstration of that commitment; on behalf of our more than 450,000 members across the state and beyond, we’re very excited to be involved in this very important program!”

Additionally, as part of its National Child Abuse Prevention Month programming, PFSA will plant small flags bearing the blue child abuse awareness ribbon on April 4 in Harrisburg and Pittsburgh in remembrance of victims of child abuse.