Child abuse pinwheels: Putting a spin on prevention
All across the nation, a lot of organizations and individuals will be spinning pinwheels in recognition of Child Abuse Prevention Month. The pinwheel is the widely adopted symbol that helps raise awareness about healthy child development. It represents happiness, health and hope. The goal of this month-long awareness (April 1-30) is to stimulate conversation and motivate the public to play a key role in the prevention of child abuse and neglect. The hope is that people will get involved and support the efforts of those working to end child abuse and neglect. For more information on Pinwheels for Prevention®, click here.
If there is anything we can do to garner attention and to help spin us into action, it could be to pass on data provided by child protective service agencies. They cited approximately 679,000 instances of confirmed cases of child maltreatment in 2013. This number does not reflect the national number of estimated cases.
In an attempt to encourage communities to get involved, here are the top 4 ways to get involved:
- Don’t re-invent the wheel. There are a lot of great programs that work tirelessly, year round, to help prevent child abuse and neglect. Seek out the experts in your community but before reaching out to them, do your homework! Find out more about child abuse and neglect.
- Learn, share and involve others. Once you’ve gathered a few ideas (from tip sheets, conferences, toolkits, etc.), learn as much as you can about what this issue looks like in your city, municipality or town. Get family members, friends, neighbors, work/school and similar personal circles involved in talking about and brainstorming ways of helping children and families in crisis.
- Invest. Invest your time, talents and resources in activities, projects and community agencies that are committed to serving families in crisis. A cause worth considering: Help an organization grow a Pinwheel Garden. Pinwheel Gardens are simple, yet inexpensive investments (donations, fundraisers). The way they work: For a small fee, you are able to plant an actual or virtual pinwheel in honor or remembrance of a loved one who has been impacted by child abuse.
- Connect. Get connected on a larger scale by keeping up-to-date on child abuse and neglect efforts and research. When you have a baseline understanding of what’s at stake and what changes might be needed, contact your local and/or state representatives so they are aware of your community’s concerns. Become someone who influences positive change for child abuse prevention efforts on a national level.
- Essentials for Childhood Framework: Steps to Create Safe, Stable, and Nurturing Relationships and Environments for all Children – CDC