April Proclaimed Child Abuse Prevention Month at Community Fair

Velia Moncada
Gila River Indian News


Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis declared April as Child Abuse Awareness month for the Gila River Indian Community, along with all future Aprils, during the Tribal Social Services (TSS) Child Abuse Prevention Fair held April 24 at the District 6 Learning Center.


“On behalf of GRIC, the month of April is identified as Child Abuse Prevention Month, which is an important initiative not only to the Executive office but to every department here in the Community,” said Sr. Assistant General Counsel Sunshine Manuel, District 3.


The fair offered interactive activities, resources, and live presentations to families from a number of GRIC organizations. Representatives from the Gila River Police Department and Gila River Healthcare’s Behavioral Health and Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (S.A.N.E.) programs participated, along with Tribal Recreation and Wellness, and others. 


“We are always trying to look out for the safety and well-being of the children of this Community, because the children are the future,” said Child Protective Services (CPS) supervisor, Phillip Polk, a member of the San Carlos Apache Tribe. He emphasized that TSS is a sustenance to families in the Community, and that the agency’s main goal is to ensure the safety and well-being of younger Community members.


 “For that to happen, we also must look at the safety and well-being of the family,” Polk explained. “We are all about creating a whole and healthy family.”

Families attending the event left with a well-cooked meal, raffle toy prizes donated by the Arizona Foster Care Alliance, and essential tools to protect and create a safer, healthier future for all children.


“This is all about keeping our Community safe, from our children to our elders to everyone in between,” said Gov. Lewis in his speech prior to signing the proclamation. 


For more information regarding the Tribal Social Services program, please contact (520) 562-3396.