Child abuse prevention underlined with pinwheel planting

Every April, Florida participates in the national Child Abuse Prevention Campaign to protect Florida's most precious citizens. We encourage you to plant a pinwheel in front of your home or business as a way of honoring those who helped you or your children experience a childhood without abuse and neglect.

Organizers hope the pinwheels being placed at one of the busiest intersections in the area will help remind folks that child abuse is preventable. Neglect, failure (usually by a parent) to provide for a child's basic needs, was overwhelmingly the most common form of child maltreatment in our community and represented 90 percent of all of the substantiated abuse and neglect.

Child Abuse Prevention Month is meant to serve as a time to acknowledge the importance of families and communities coming together to prevent child abuse and neglect and to promote the emotional wellbeing of children.

"We're talking about the serious neglect cases where kids are locked in a room and forgotten", said Emily Perry, founder, executive director and child forensic interviewer for child advocacy center Susie's Place.

"You can purchase a pinwheel for a suggested ten dollar donation", McCormick said. Children learn through circle time discussions, book reading/story time and an interactive activity.

In the wake of the murder of a five-month-old baby girl in Decatur last week, the annual Macon County CASA and Child 1st wreath lighting at the Macon County Courthouse on Monday took on an especially somber tone. The plastic pinwheels for sale can be purchased at Hatch Pediatrics, Bozeman Health Pediatrics, Bozeman Dentristy, Allegra Marketing Print Mail and the Children's Museum of Bozeman.

Reid said she likes the idea that parents and children are being taught as a family. "Anytime there is easy access to medicines or things that a child can swallow, it's a potential danger". So for instance if they need counseling, to follow up with them to see how they're doing.

"So everybody will know that there's foster children that they can help around the world".

"Our numbers are high because we simply don't look the other way", Broderick said. Reunification with parents may or may not be what is best for the children.

"It takes several people to sometimes be involved with a child and a family". Two thirds of people in treatment for drug abuse say they were either abused or neglected as children.

"The symbol is now the sign of our progress towards looking at positive development and positive start for all of our children". Rader said. "If they have a concern, they should report".

He said the next idea someone has might make a big impact as well.

  • Audrey Hill