The very first federal child protection legislation was enacted in 1974 when Congress passed the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act.

The very first federal child protection legislation was enacted in 1974 when Congress passed the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act.

Although the legislation has been amended many times over the past 37 years, the original intent remains the same. CAPTA provides federal funding to states for the purpose of preventing, assessing, investigating, prosecuting and treating child abuse.

The act also provides grants to public and non-profit agencies for programs and projects that protect children and strengthen families. CAPTA also established a minimum definition of child abuse and neglect.

In the early 1980s, Congress increased its commitment to identifying and implementing solutions to child abuse and designated the week of June 6 to 12, 1982, as the first National Child Abuse Prevention Week. The following year, the month of April was proclaimed the first Child Abuse Prevention Month, and ever since April has been set aside as a time to promote awareness of child abuse and neglect and engage the public in activities that address its prevention.

The Blue Ribbon Campaign to Prevent Child Abuse began in 1989 when a grandmother from Virginia tied a blue ribbon to the antenna of her car as a way to remember her grandson who had died as a result of abuse. The blue ribbon became a symbol to alert her community about the existence and tragedy of child abuse. That simple act ignited a national awareness campaign, and thousands of individuals across the country now wear a blue ribbon during the month of April in memory of children who have died as a result of abuse.

On Friday, April 8, the Child Abuse Prevention Association will host the inaugural “A Blue Tie Affair” at Chapel Ridge Banquet Center at 3750 N.E. Ralph Powell Road in Lee’s Summit. The new name for CAPA’s annual gala was inspired by the national Blue Ribbon Campaign, and guests are encouraged to wear some hue of blue to the event. Recommended attire for women is a blue dress, blue shoes or blue accessories, while men may be inspired to don a blue suit, blue shirt or blue tie for the occasion. Cocktail or business attire is appropriate for the evening event, which begins at 6:30 p.m.

Individual tickets to the event are priced at $65 per guest with corporate table sponsorships available for $700.

Following the cocktail reception, a dinner buffet will be offered at 7:15 p.m. with live entertainment by The Chevelles to follow at 8:30 p.m.

For additional information or reservations contact the Child Abuse Prevention Association at 816-252-8338 or visit www.childabuseprevention.org.