It’s that time of the year again: April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month!
The national awareness month of April was first designated as Child Abuse Prevention Month by President Ronald Reagan in 1983. (click link to read the proclamation)
Over the years, April has been used to raise awareness of the problem of child abuse. These days, we use April to focus instead on how we can prevent child abuse and neglect. And our own research shows that most Americans are engaged in prevention, they just don’t know it.
Pinwheels for Prevention®
Did someone help you have a great childhood when you were young – perhaps a parent, sibling, teacher or coach? Do you help children in your life today have a great childhood – your own kids, nephews or nieces, or maybe children you mentor or babysit?
Throughout April, celebrate the lives you touch and those who have touched yours by honoring them with a pinwheel – the national symbol for the great childhoods all children deserve because our children are our future.
Why Pinwheels for Prevention?
In 2008, Prevent Child Abuse America introduced the pinwheel as the new national symbol for child abuse prevention through Pinwheels for Prevention®. What our research showed, and what our experiences since then have borne out, is that people respond to the pinwheel. By its very nature, the pinwheel connotes whimsy and childlike notions. In essence, it has come to serve as the physical embodiment, or reminder, of the great childhoods we want for all children.
Why Do We Care?
Because we all play a role in children’s lives…
Whether you are an employer enacting policies that impact the work-life balance or a neighbor who offers parents time away from stress, we all have an effect on the lives of children. The responsibility is ours to contribute to the kind of nation in which we want to live. When all children don’t have equal opportunity for healthy growth and development, we put our future as a society at risk. Every day is your call to action and an opportunity for you to recognize that we all play a role in children’s lives.
Because children are our future…
Our most basic obligation is to support the healthy development of our nation’s children. The great childhoods we want for our children require a loving and supporting environment. Children who are raised in supportive and stable environments are more academically and financially successful, and great childhoods help children grow into productive, contributing adults who help their community, and our country, be prosperous and competitive in the global economy.
Because the costs are too high…
When we invest in healthy child development, we are investing in community and economic development. Unfortunately, children are sometimes exposed to extreme and sustained stress like child abuse and neglect, which can undermine a child’s development. Research conducted by Prevent Child Abuse America estimates that implementing effective policies and strategies to prevent child abuse and neglect can save taxpayers $80 billion per year. The cost of not doing this is measured in increased costs for foster care services, hospitalization, mental health treatment and law enforcement, as well as loss of individual productivity and expenditures related to chronic health problems, special education and the justice system.
How Can You Help?
The Pinwheels for Prevention® campaign provides a unique opportunity for all of us, individuals and organizations alike, to take action by learning more about prevention, supporting child and family friendly policies and services, and volunteering at the local, state, and national levels.
Simple every-day actions make a difference…
There are also simple things you can do every day to make a difference. Whether it’s volunteering at a local pre- or after-school program, babysitting for an overburdened family in your neighbor, or calling your local legislators to advocate for policies like home visiting, there are many things you can do to help promote great childhoods and the prevention of abuse and neglect!
Source: Prevention Child Abuse America
The Child Abuse and Neglect Technical Assistance and Strategic Dissemination Center (CANTASD) is offering more than 150 WE CAN – Work to End Child Abuse and Neglect social media posts for you to use and share. WE CAN features a set of simple, bold messages intended to build awareness and engage the public and partners in child abuse and neglect prevention. Follow CANTASD on Facebook and Twitter to see the messages as they are posted throughout April, or visit the WE CAN page on our website to download them for your own use.