April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Local officials including Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente and Sheriff Rob Maciol were at the Oneida County Child Advocacy Center on Tuesday to raise awareness of child abuse.

“Protecting the children of this community is always on the forefront of what we as a county do each and every day,” Picente said. “We have armed our Department of Social Services child welfare staff with the tools they need to successfully safeguard our most vulnerable population, including providing them with increased and innovative training and security measures, supplying the newest technology and aggressively recruiting  dozens of new caseworkers to join in the fight. Together with the Child Advocacy Center, the Sheriff’s Office, the District Attorney’s Office, local law enforcement and community partners such as the YWCA of the Mohawk Valley, we work diligently all year to not only raise awareness of child abuse, but to prevent its tragic occurrence and support victims and their families.  ”

The Child Advocacy Center has served more than 265 children so far this year.

County Child Protective Services caseworkers were also recognized.

Blue "Pinwheels for Prevention" were placed on the grounds outside the CAC.

The County Office Building in Utica has also been lit blue each night this month in support of child abuse prevention.

photo courtesy of Oneida County Sheriff's Office