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Becker County receives Blue Ribbon award

Over the past six years, 46 counties and one tribe have been recognized by Prevent Child Abuse Minnesota for their efforts at preventing child abuse and neglect.

This year, PCAMN was pleased to recognize 19 counties for excellence in prevention at the Radisson Roseville on April 23. The Blue Ribbon Award is given annually to counties that exemplify excellence in private and public partnerships that raise awareness and prevent child abuse and neglect in their communities. The blue ribbon is the national symbol of child abuse prevention.

The awards were sponsored this year by the Whitney Foundation and Kathleen Blatz, former Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court and founder of the Children's Justice Initiative.

Becker County received the Blue Ribbon County Award for excellence in child abuse prevention.

In a whirlwind of activity, Becky Aaland of the Lakes Crisis and Resource Center gathered others to form a Circle of Parents program in just two months. The determination to ensure that parents were provided with as much support as necessary in order to be successful in parenting was a driving force behind the creation of the Circle.

The chapter is the product of numerous agencies and partners working behind the scenes from ECFE to Human Services to Public Health and more, all dedicated to promoting positive parents and supportive communities.

Accepting the award for Becker County was Becky Aaland.

Collaboration is a key activity that enables counties to do excellent work preventing child abuse and neglect. Each county in their nomination identified many organizations that collaborate to do their prevention work.

Many of these groups are part of their county's Child Abuse Prevention Council (CAPC). Of our awardees this year, Freeborn, Dakota, and Olmsted Counties have received the award every year since its inception and Becker, Lyon, Morrison, Otter Tail and Todd Counties received it for the first time.

The awards were presented by the Honorable Heidi Schelhaus (as Ms. Blatz's representative) and Dave Turk, president of PCAMN's Board of Directors to the following counties: Anoka, Becker, Dakota, Freeborn, Goodhue, Grant, Hennepin, Itasca, Kandiyohi, Lyon, Morrison, Mower, Olmsted, Otter Tail, Polk, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd, and Watonwan Counties.

The awards are also presented to boards of county commissioners upon request. PCAMN's vision is that all of the children in Minnesota live in healthy families, free from abuse or neglect, and supported by their communities.