Judge declares April 'Child Abuse Prevention Month'

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By Robin Bass

In honor of Child Abuse Prevention Month, Spencer County Judge Executive David Jenkins signed a proclamation Friday, calling on all citizens to increase their efforts to support families by helping to prevent child abuse.

“Preventing child abuse and neglect is a community problem that depends on the involvement among people throughout the community,” said Jenkins in his proclamation. “Child abuse and neglect not only directly harm children, but also increase the likelihood of criminal behavior, substance abuse, health problems such as heart disease and obesity, and risky behavior such as smoking.”

Since the 1970s, April has been a month dedicated to child abuse awareness and is often represented with blue ribbons pinned to shirts or tied to street lamps. This year, the campaign hopes to go beyond awareness by engaging prevention through Pinwheels for Prevention. The campaign is built around the symbol of a pinwheel – which is aimed at reminding the community that every child deserves the chance to be raised in a healthy, safe and nurturing environment.

Pinwheels will be seen throughout the county accompanied by signs promoting this year’s theme, “Children bring communities together” said Becky Wilson of the Family Resource Center.

In addition to brightly-colored pinwheels, local agencies are planning coloring contests and will be making resources available for families.

Working together toward these goals are agencies such as OVEC Head Start and Early Head Start, the Family Resource and Youth Service Centers, the Spencer County Extension office, Multi-Purpose Community Action Agency, Seven Counties Services, North Central District Health Department and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

Within the month long campaign, the week of April 19-25 will be celebrated as the Week of the Young Child. This annual celebration, sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, will focus the public’s attention on the needs of young children and their families and recognize the programs that serve them.