AMARILLO - April is Child Abuse prevention month

Thursday marked Mission Kids Advocacy Center's fifth event for "Pinwheels for Prevention", a symbolic "planting" of the shiny toy that conveys childlike whimsy and the carefree years all children is entitled to but too many do not experience.

Adults interested in learning more about child abuse risk factors and how to protect children are encouraged to attend a program called Darkness to Light Child Sexual Abuse Prevention and Response.

"If we all work together in Montgomery County we can achieve our vision of having a community that strives to make sure all children and youth are respected, nurtured and protected", MCYSB Director Karen Branch said.

"As a result, it is hard for adults to help educate children or other adults about child sexual abuse or to protect children from abuse", Mary Lucero, executive director of the organization, said in a statement.

Andrea Hagen, Preventative Specialist with Heartland for Children, a Bartow-based child welfare service provider network operating in Polk, Hardee and Highlands Counties, says the campaign adopted the pinwheel as a symbol of childhood play and innocence. The scary thing about child abuse is that it hides everywhere. "And we've been working on prevention education in Muskogee Public Schools the last two years, thanks to a grant from the City of Muskogee Foundation". It's a shared responsibility. They're also a centerpiece of a growing movement across the nation committed to stopping child abuse before it starts.

As part of Child Abuse Prevention Month, Indiana Department of Child Services offered the followed tips about how to prevent abuse and neglect. Both programs are supported by Appanoose Family Alliance/Community Partnerships for Protecting Children.

To the Editor: Did you know that Kids Count ranked Kansas 19th nationally for child well-being in 2016?

"I couldn't have been prouder with all the support we've received", she said.

A child releases balloons at the kickoff event for Child Abuse Prevention Month in Huntington.

Learn the signs of abuse and neglect. Recognize that most often abuse doesn't appear as "stranger danger" but rather is at the hands of someone the child knows, such as a parent, relative, neighbor or friend of the family. If you suspect abuse or neglect of a child, call 911 or the IN hotline at 800-800-5556. See more about prevention events in your area on the Events Page of HelpAndHope.org. You can make a report to the hotline without giving your name if that is a concern. "It takes you through Audrie and Daisey's journey, and that includes one of the young ladies who commits suicide". It shows that in a four-year span, from 2009 to 2013, the number of child abuse cases rose 6.6 percent. And then they have the team members here with the family advocates who get them counseling and a follow-up.

Participate in National Wear Blue Day on April 7 or in National Blue Sunday Day of Prayer for Abused Children as a reminder of the seriousness of child abuse and neglect and the need for its prevention.

  • Carolyn Briggs