WACO, Texas (FOX 44/KWKT) — Multiple child services agencies gathered at CASA of McLennan County with one mission, one goal, and one common interest in mind.

Protecting the children of this community.

There are over 400 children in the foster care system as a result of abuse in McLennan County alone.

Leaders in various children social agencies from the child welfare board, to child protective services, and Isaiah 1 17 House, took the time to recognize and highlight that…

“Kids should never hurt. They should not hurt. And I think that’s the message that I would want anyone to take away from events like this. And the more that we are together, we can bring more awareness and as it was stated here today is if you see something, say something,” shared CASA Executive Director Rolanda Burns.

Attendees at Wednesday’s ceremony, started with a moment of silence before releasing balloons for the children who have endured traumatic experiences.

Ultimately each organization will continue its efforts in child abuse prevention and raising awareness.

Hoping that more people will join the cause they are fighting for.

Advocacy Center for Crime Victims and Children Associate Director Dr. Kerry Burkley, challenges us to rise to the occasion for these children.

“It is up to us to be protectors of our children. They are [our] most precious resource in our community and if we don’t speak up, then so much can go un-done for those children. That may create more hurtful situations, but it’s time for us to step in, ” said Dr. Burkely.