MARSHALL CO. — Department of Child Services offices statewide will be holding candlelight vigils to raise awareness for child abuse April 16.
Local DCS director Michael Carroll said that the public can expect to see more of these types of events, as his office seeks to increase community participation in the fight against abuse.
“The whole purpose (of the April 16 candlelight event) is to engage local leaders and stakeholders, to recognize those affected by child abuse, and to generate positive local media coverage for DCS,” said Carroll.
The event starts at 7 p.m. in the parking lot of the Marshall County DCS office, located in between Wings Etc. and Jimmy Johns in Plymouth. Participants will hear a brief introduction by Carroll and opening statements from Marshall County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) director Haley Kittrell before the candle lighting and moment of silence led by Trinity United Methodist Church pastor Mark Need. The event will last about half an hour, and it’s suitable for families with children to attend.
“This will be an opportunity to raise public awareness of child abuse and neglect, and it will be a chance for everyone to get together for a common purpose: child welfare and safety,” said Kittrell.
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. If you are aware or suspect that a child is being abused or neglected, call the Department of Child Services hotline at 1-800-800-5556 to make a confidential report. To learn more about CASA and how you can become involved or volunteer, visit www.marshallcountycasa.org  or call Kittrell at 574-935-8723.