Hundreds of blue signs raising awareness about child abuse will be placed this month around the metro area, marking the fifth year of the annual Blue Kids Campaign.

Hennepin County and CornerHouse, a Minneapolis nonprofit that helps families and adults dealing with abuse, launched the campaign Wednesday by planting 100 signs at the Hennepin County Government Center in downtown Minneapolis. The signs represent the thousands of kids abused in Minnesota each year. April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

“Children are our treasure,” said Patricia Harmon, executive director of CornerHouse. “Together we can make a difference for all the children in our lives.”

Hennepin County is shifting its child protection system to a new model, investing $13 million this year to reduce child protection workers’ caseloads by hiring more staffers and adding services in hopes of preventing abuse. Hennepin County had a record high 20,000 child protection reports in 2016.

The county and nonprofit are partnering with Blue Plate, a local restaurant company that will take donations from patrons and post signs at its nine restaurants in the west metro area and Minneapolis.

Since the Blue Kids Campaign started in 2013, it has raised $40,000 to benefit services that CornerHouse provides for about 500 kids and adults each year.

KELLY SMITH