County Executive Jim Kreuser today gave the first Connie Reyes Award for Excellence in Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention to Karyn van Heijningen of Community Impact Programs.
Kreuser thanked all of those who work to prevent child abuse and neglect and proclaimed April as Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month in Kenosha County. The theme for the month-long commemoration is “Keeping kids safe and families strong.”
“The things you do, hear and see are very difficult, but, as a result of your work, lives are saved, families are strengthened and our community is better,” Kreuser said at an event honoring those who work in the area of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention.
The event focused on honoring Connie Reyes, a Kenosha County social worker, who was murdered in her home on April 12, 1990 as revenge for placing a child in foster care.
Kreuser said Reyes was killed simply for doing her job, protecting children.
“We will not forget the positive impact Connie Reyes had on the lives of children and families in Kenosha County, her work to build community partnerships and to improve the safety net for families in need,” Kreuser said.
Kreuser said van Heijningen was selected from among the qualified nominees for her work coordinating the Coordinated Response to Abuse and Neglect Program (CoRE), which brings together all the various community partners to address abuse and neglect, and for leading the Turn the Town Blue awareness campaign for Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month.
The Connie Reyes Award for Excellence in Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention will be awarded annually. The recipients’ names will be listed on a plaque on display at the Kenosha County Human Services Building, 8600 Sheridan Road.
To report child abuse/neglect, please contact the Kenosha County Access Office at 262-605-6582.