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CITIZENS VOICE PHOTO/MARK MORAN Angela M. Liddle (left) MPA, PFSA President and CEO, along with Nell McCormack Abom, a TV Host and Program Moderator, talk with a Citizens’ Voice reporter about the nonprofit’s mission and programs Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance (PFSA), the state leader in child abuse prevention.Tuesday, Feb. 5 launched the nomination period for the 2019 PA Blue Ribbon Champions for Safe Kids Awards. Recipients will be announced in April, National Child Abuse Prevention Month, at ceremonies in Harrisburg and Pittsburgh.

The PA Family Support Alliance is looking for five good men or women who help keep children safe.

The Harrisburg-based nonprofit known as PFSA, will honor five individuals from across Pennsylvania with the 2019 PA Blue Ribbon Champions for Safe Kids award.

The award recipients will be announced at a ceremony in Harrisburg on April 3. Two of those honored will be community volunteers, while two will be child welfare professionals. One representative of the media will also be honored.

“The idea is folks who go above and beyond in small or big ways to keep kids safe,” said Angela Liddle, president of PFSA.

The prevalence of child abuse in Pennsylvania is alarming and is not getting better, partly due to widespread addiction issues and the opioid epidemic, Liddle said.

According to state-wide statistics provided by the state Department of Human Services, 40 children died of child abuse and 88 suffered near-fatal injuries in 2017. More than 4,000 children in Pennsylvania were victims of abuse that year.

Liddle urged anyone who suspects a child is being abused to report it immediately.

On the day of the award ceremony, PFSA plans to place thousands of blue ribbons from the Susquehanna River to the steps of the state capitol, to honor each abused child in the state, Liddle said.

The deadline to submit nominations for the Safe Kids award is Feb. 25.

Nomination forms are available online at www.pablueribbonchampion.org/nominate.

Those who submit nominations will be asked to provide information about the nominee. The form includes:

*Describe what this person has done to prevent child abuse; *Describe how this person has enhanced the quality of life for children and/or families; *Why does this person deserve special recognition?

Nomination forms can be emailed to: nominations@pablueribbonchampion.org.