April will be Proclaimed by the Governor as “Child Abuse Prevention Month” on April 4 at the Statehouse in Montpelier, and we will plant a pinwheel garden planted on the State House lawn.
The “Pinwheels for Prevention” movement is bringing the belief in prevention to life in a number of ways in communities nationwide. The movement is based on the belief that we must do more than simply respond to cases of abuse through prosecution and intervention – we need to provide programs and policies that focus on the child development process, engage communities and create conditions that allow parents to be the kinds of parents they want to be. These programs and policies include strategies such as home visiting, parent education, mutual self-help support, mental health services and substance abuse treatment.
Prevention priorities have historically lagged behind abuse response measures such as intervention and prosecution, but the “winds of change” have clearly begun to blow. The Pinwheels for Prevention movement began in the wake of a study released in January by PCA America and the Pew Charitable Trusts. The study documents pervasive and long-lasting effects of child abuse and neglect on children, their families and society as a whole.
Pinwheels for Prevention is the grassroots signature campaign for PCA America and its 50 chapters nationwide. The pinwheel has come to symbolize a person’s commitment to truly preventative measures, such as home visitation services, parent education and the overall re-prioritization of our policies, programs and resources to ensure that every child in the United States is provided with a healthy, safe and nurturing home and an involved, supportive and caring community.
We are asking that schools, towns, businesses, communities and the public planr a pinwheel garden to reflect the support for child abuse prevention.
As the national symbol for child abuse prevention is the Pinwheel, and we would like to have as many schools, towns, businesses, communities and the public plant a pinwheel garden to reflect the support for prevention by planting a “Pinwheel Garden”. One way to show support would be to plant a pinwheel garden at your place of business to show your staff and the public that children are our future and that you support child abuse prevention.
This entails purchasing pinwheels from Prevent Child Abuse Vermont for $1 each, with the recommended amount being 100 pinwheels and planting them in the ground during the month of April. If the Pinwheel Gardens were up for only the day of the proclamation, it would make a big impact.
Last year several towns, libraries, businesses, fire departments and individuals planted “Pinwheel Gardens” in support of child abuse prevention. Prevention does work: from 1990 to 2014, all forms of child abuse in Vermont are down by over 50%!