Blue Ribbon — Child Abuse Prevention

Blue Ribbon Month 2021


Save the Date: Blue Ribbon Kickoff Ceremony 2021

All are invited to the 27th Annual Blue Ribbon Month Kickoff Ceremony, themed “SPEAK UP…Save a Child!” and hosted by Orange County Child Abuse Prevention Council (OC CAPC). This countywide event is being held via livestream and begins a month-long Blue Ribbon awareness campaign throughout April 2021, also known as National Child Abuse Prevention Month

The Ceremony on Tuesday, March 30th, 2021 from 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. will be emceed by Vikki Vargas, NBC4 News reporter for the Orange County Bureau. (A link to watch will be provided in the coming weeks.)

With your help, we will pay tribute in memory and support of children, honor adults and youth who advocate for child safety, and dedicate a Pinwheels for Prevention® Garden. You’ll hear an important update from the County of Orange Department of Social Services Agency as well as inspiring stories from people who know firsthand the journey of fostering and adoption in order to give children a stable home. New to this year’s program is a mini workshop on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) delivered by a leading expert. You’ll also learn about the many community events and trainings taking place throughout Blue Ribbon Month in April and how the whole County can participate and spread awareness, as we join together to “Keep Kids Safe, Healthy, and Happy!”


Blue Ribbon Book Drive

The Raise Foundation, with a continued focus on prevention, asks for your help in promoting early and lifelong literacy in the children we serve by supporting the inaugural Blue Ribbon Book Drive and Book Club ProgramThis program seeks to provide community access and equity to books, support and promote quality bonding time between parents and children through storytelling/recitation and work to improve short-term and long-term literacy outcomes for children in Orange County.  

To meet these needs and make this project possible, we are asking for donations of brand-new books for children and teens. We encourage you to have fun choosing books you love, books that you enjoyed reading as a child or with your own children, or books that are considered required school reading titles for Orange County based schools. If you want some ideas, there is a some suggested titles on our wish list and the additional lists below to choose from! 

All books should be shipped by March 15th to: 

The Raise Foundation

2900 Bristol Street, Suite J-201 

Costa Mesa, CA 92626 

If you have any questions, please email Katarina Scalise at [email protected] 

Thank you for your consideration and your support!


More About the Book Drive Program

Blue Ribbon Book Drive Wish List

Best Young Reader Books of 2020

Best Young Adult Books of 2020

Best Picture Books of 2020

Books for Every Stage and Age



Blue Ribbon Youth Art Contest

OC’s Child Abuse Prevention Council (CAPC) invites children ages 6 to 18 across Orange County to create artwork based on the theme: “Keep Me Safe, Healthy, and Happy! 

Last year we received 142 entries, and with your help we will break that record in 2021! Please share this information with any families and children you know as well as with youth organizations, schools, places of worship, etc.

All art contest entries are due February 12, 2021. The winning artwork will be unveiled during the 27th Annual Blue Ribbon Kickoff Ceremony on March 30, 2021.

Use the link below to download the contest packet, which includes details about participation guidelineshow to submit artwork, and prizes. 

Winning entries from past years can also be viewed below. 


Blue Ribbon Youth Art Contest 2021 Entry Packet – English

Blue Ribbon Youth Art Contest 2021 Entry Packet – Spanish

2021 Blue Ribbon and Shining Light Award Nominees

Blue Ribbon Awards Nomination Form

In conjunction with Blue Ribbon Month in April, we encourage you to nominate colleagues, friends, and loved ones and/or groups that go above and beyond to ensure the safety and overall well-being of children!


2021 Blue Ribbon Awards

Blue Ribbon Award: Individual or group specifically dedicated to the field of child abuse prevention.

Shining Light On Children Award: Individual or group that advocates for children.


Potential Ideas for Nominations: caregivers, sports coaches, nurses, club/troop/PTA leaders, teachers,
faith-based staff, public safety professionals, service clubs, etc.

*Nominees must reside or work in Orange County, CA*

Two recipients will be honored during the 27th Annual Blue Ribbon Month Kickoff Ceremony in Spring 2021 (date


**This form can be filled out online or by hand and submitted. Email submissions to [email protected] or mail in submissions by hand to 2900 Bristol St., Suite J-201   Costa Mesa 92626**

Blue Ribbon Awards Nomination Form




Blue Ribbon Month 2020

In response to the COVID-19 precautions, Orange County’s Blue Ribbon Month Kick-Off Ceremony and all other community based planned Blue Ribbon Month events will be postponed. For those who had already RSVP’d for the kick-off ceremony and the many others of you who had planned to join us, we thank you and we hope to announce a new date for this event in the coming months.

However, April still remains National Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month and this year’s theme remains true, “It Takes the Whole Community to Care for the Whole Child.” While we won’t be meeting in person to officially kick off Blue Ribbon Month or celebrate together at the end of the month at Family Fun Day, we encourage you to take some time in April to download these resources and participate in some of activities and efforts we’ll be sharing here on our website and on social media. Follow The Raise Foundation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


Blue Ribbon Youth Art Contest 2020

This year, when Orange County’s Child Abuse Prevention Council invited children countywide in grades 1st through 12th to enter the annual “Keep Me Safe, Healthy, and Happy” Art Contest, it received a record breaking 142 entries throughout the county. Schools, Family Resource Centers (FRCs), places of worship, and youth groups/organizations all rallied together to engage youth to speak up through art. A special thank you to the staff at Jamboree Housing, the Boys & Girls Clubs, and FRCs for inspiring so many youth to enter. The first place artists and their artwork will be shared online in April and be featured on the cover of Orange County Business Journal as well as other places. They along with all who participated will be honored at a later date during a Blue Ribbon Family Fun Day that was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top 30 entries will become part of a roaming Blue Ribbon Youth Art Exhibit at libraries, museums, banks, and other locations throughout the county. The goal of each piece of artwork is to remind everyone that, “It Takes the Whole Community to Care For the Whole Child.” May the time and creative energy each child put into their entry inspire us all!

Please find the 2020 Top Entries below and join us in celebrating their creative work and time to remind us all to keep them Safe, Healthy, and Happy:

2020 Blue Ribbon Youth Art Contest Winners-Elementary Age

2020 Blue Ribbon Youth Art Contest Winners-Middle School Age

2020 Blue Ribbon Youth Art Contest Winners-High School Age


Blue Ribbon Month 2020 Toolkit Resources for Download

Resources from Orange County’s Child Abuse Prevention Council:

30 Days 30 Ways Activity Calendar

Child Abuse Registry Hotline Reporting Number

Raise Foundation Three Initiatives Flyer

Kaitlyn’s Law – English

Kaitlyn’s Law – Spanish

Pinwheel Craft Template

Blue Ribbon Coloring Page – Pinwheels

Blue Ribbon Coloring Page – Safe, Healthy, Happy

Blue Ribbon Coloring Page – Pinwheel Graphic


Community Resources:

Is it Stress or Anxiety? — National Institute of Mental Health

CHOC Anxiety Tips for Parents – English

CHOC Anxiety Tips for Parents – Spanish

CHOC Anxiety Tips for Parents – Vietnamese

CHOC Anxiety Tips for Kids and Teens – English

CHOC Anxiety Tips for Kids and Teens – Spanish

CHOC Anxiety Tips for Kids and Teens – Vietnamese

Creating a Family Plan During COVID-19 – English

Creating a Family Plan During COVID-19 – Spanish

About ACEs Aware

ACEs Aware Stress Management Resources

California Department of Social Services Child Abuse Prevention Month Brochure

Trauma Tips for Teens and Kids – English and Spanish

Trauma Overview for Parents – English

Trauma Overview for Parents – Spanish

Road Map to Child Safety and Family Stability Brochure

Safe Sleep Brochure – English

Safe Sleep Brochure – Spanish

Slices of the Resource Family Approval Process

Drowning Prevention Infographic – English and Spanish

FaCT Family Resource Center Map – English

FaCT Family Resource Center Map – Spanish

ABC’s of Water Safety – English and Spanish

Job Search Resource Flyer

Goodwill Young Adult LifeLaunch Program

MOMS Orange County Virtual Programs (COVID-19) – English

MOMS Orange County Virtual Programs (COVID-19) – Spanish

OC Links – English and Spanish

Entering Adulthood: Getting Help for Mental and Substance Use Disorders

Help With Mental and Substance Use Disorders Family Conversation Guide

Mental and Substance Use Disorders Support Guide

Teen Substance Use Conversation Starters

Tips for Teens: Marijuana

Tips for Teens: Meth



Blue Ribbon Month 2019

The countywide awareness campaign in April 2019 for Blue Ribbon “Child Abuse Prevention” Month was a success. Thanks to nearly 100 organizations and agencies, schools, and the media, we were able to expand the reach to educate and engage even more people about the community’s role in “Keeping Kids Safe, Healthy, and Happy!” We began with a meaningful 25th Annual Blue Ribbon Kick-Off Ceremony at the Bowers Museum in which Orange County’s Child Abuse Prevention Council convened by The Raise Foundation, and many other community partners and agencies, joined with CBS2/KCAL9 Reporter Michele Gile to honor the children affected by child abuse and neglect, listen to testimony from Resource Parent and Foster Care Advocate Miguel Alcantara, and to dedicate the first of nearly 80 Pinwheel for Prevention ® gardens of the year! Also throughout the month we hosted trainings for professionals, “Keep Kids Safe” presentations for parents, a variety of family bonding resource fairs and other events, and media outreach.

All year long, please feel free to download, refer to, and disseminate the materials noted below that were part of the Community Awareness Kits distributed throughout the month. Through community education and advocacy, Orange County can ensure that we help strengthen families. If interested in getting involved in next year’s awareness campaign, please email [email protected].


Download Blue Ribbon Month Materials Below:

30 Days, 30 Ways Fun Activities Calendar for 2019 Blue Ribbon Month           

Pinwheel Garden Locations throughout Orange County        

“Keep Kids Safe, Healthy, and Happy” Bulletin Board Checklist                       

Suggested Social Media Posts for 2019 Blue Ribbon Month

“Be a Hero for Children” Downloadable Ad                                                         

2019 Blue Ribbon Month Template Ads


A More Mindful Community

Children in families that are struggling or facing stressful times are at an increased risk of experiencing abuse and neglect. As a member of the community we have a role to play in promoting the factors that build a strong, healthy family, and identifying the red flags and warning signs that increase the risk of abuse and neglect.

Strong, Healthy Families

The Protective Factors

Social Connections:

  • Actively a part of a community, faith community, or supportive group
  • Supportive and reliable family & friends
  • Positive and nurturing relationships

Concrete Support In Times of Need:

  • Connected to and aware of community resources
  • Having enough money to meet basic needs

Parental Resilience:

  • Hopeful
  • Managing stress in a healthy manner
  • Seeking help effectively
  • Solving general life problems

Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development:

  • Age appropriate expectations of children
  • Meeting the needs of special needs children
  • Nurturing parenting
  • Positive and trusting relationships

Social and Emotional Competence of a Child:

  • Appropriate and healthy expression of emotions
  • Healthy behavior
  • Interacts positively with others

The Warning Signs

The following warning signs indicate a family that may be in need of support and resources to help them through struggles.

High family stress, conflict, and displays of anger:

Poor impulse control, short fuse, shutdown or withdrawn, depressed, insecure

Visible difficulty parenting:

Inability to soothe child, lack of supervision, odd or extreme parenting ideas, risky caregivers, poor understanding or “normal” behavior, punishment vs. discipline, unrealistic expectations of child.

Many needs and few resources:

Health problems, money problems, recent changes and/or losses, child with special needs, substance abuse including alcohol and prescription drugs, unemployment, unsafe or unstable housing.

Challenging family circumstances:

Blended family, children under the age of two, divorce or separation, high number of people in the home, history of abuse, history of violence, parent in jail.

Red Flags

The following signs could be evidence of child abuse and neglect.

Ongoing signs of abuse:

  • Someone, including the child, tells you the child has been abused.
  • Suspicious marks, cuts, injuries, or bruises
  • Other violence in the home

Ongoing signs of neglect:

  • Poor hygiene
  • Hoarding food
  • Noticeable tooth decay
  • Chronic lice
  • Significant weight changes

If you suspect child abuse and/or neglect please contact the Child Abuse Hotline at (714) 940-1000 or (800) 207-4464, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Story of the Blue Ribbon

The Blue Ribbon Child Abuse Prevention Campaign had its early beginnings following the death of a very young child. In 1989, Virginia grandmother, Bonnie Finney, received devastating news. In her own words:

“Tell me it isn’t true. It simply can’t be true…Michael can’t be dead…they are wrong…there must be some mistake…Michael is fine. But deep in my heart, I knew it was true for I had not seen him in weeks. It’s been so long since I sat by his side in the hospital. Of course I knew something was wrong as I sat there. I saw fear on his face, the bruises on his body…. his doctor didn’t believe my daughter’s story….he fell in the slippery bathtub water….I felt sick….I didn’t understand…I wondered if my other grandchildren were okay.”

“After the ordeal at the hospital, my grandson was placed into foster care for three weeks. I ached for his dilemma and I was not physically able to care for him. The courts seemed to believe that home was the best place for him and [over my objections], returned him to his mother.”

“I never got to see Michael again. Almost three months later, I learned that he had been killed, wrapped in a sheet, stuffed in a toolbox and then dumped into a dismal swamp.”

“From that point on, my life turned into physical and mental chaos. My efforts to understand became a plea to stop abusing children. I tied a Blue Ribbon on my van antenna to spark people’s curiosity. It caught on locally with restaurants, businesses, the police department as well as radio and television stations. They all started supporting me in my efforts to make a real awareness campaign.”

“The Blue Ribbon serves as a constant reminder to fight for our children. Join me as we work together to protect our most precious gift…our children. Please show your support by wearing a Blue Ribbon, putting one on your car and/or giving one to your friends and family and tell them what it means. You could be saving a child’s life.”

Bonnie’s simple idea to wear or display a Blue Ribbon to show her support for child abuse prevention was picked up by grassroots organizations across the country. The campaign reached California and Orange County in 1993. Today, The Raise Foundation produces a coordinated, countywide annual Blue Ribbon Campaign.

The act of one grandmother thousands of miles away lead us to this annual awareness raising campaign. Just think, what could happen if each one of us helped spread the word to a few of the people we come in contact with each day? The groundswell of support that would follow just might be enough to move us towards the day when our homes and communities are completely safe…

A place where it doesn’t hurt to be a child.

#KeepKidsSafe          #BlueRibbon          #ChildAbusePrevention          #OCBlueRibbon

#CommitToPrevent          #GreatChildhoods          #Collaboration


Keep in touch and join our newsletter to receive updates on the latest news, upcoming events and child safety tips. Please enter your name and email address to subscribe.