Pinwheels for Prevention is a national campaign to change the way we think about preventing child abuse. While recognizing and reporting child abuse are certainly important, research shows there are a variety of things individuals, businesses and organizations can do to prevent abuse before it ever begins.
Increasing parental knowledge of healthy child development, reducing family isolation and ensuring community supports like home visiting, mental health services, substance abuse treatment, affordable housing and high-quality child care are available to families are just a few ways we can reduce the risk of abuse and help ensure all children have the opportunity to grow and develop to their full potential. There are countless ways each of us, as individuals, can build a brighter future for children; for example, volunteering as a mentor, cooking a meal or babysitting for a neighbor, or helping out at the homeless shelter or local literacy program.
In Florida, Pinwheels for Prevention draws attention to and encourages involvement in activities that support healthy child development through public service announcements, distribution of family development and advocacy guides, and coordination of community events that include the creation of public pinwheel displays. While the bulk of our public awareness activities occur during April to coincide with National Child Abuse Prevention Month, Pinwheels for Prevention is a year-round campaign that strives to ensure services for children and families remain a priority all year long.
Florida's Pinwheels for Prevention campaign is implemented by PCA Florida and a wide range of state-and community-level partners who share the belief that all families deserve to live in supportive communities that provide safe and healthy experiences for their children. This year, we were encouraged to see so many state agencies and community partners embracing Pinwheels for Prevention and recognizing their roles in strengthening families and preventing child abuse before it
General Federation of Women's Clubs
ever begins. The public pinwheel planting ceremonies and press conferences hosted by the Florida departments of Education, Health, Management Services, Agriculture, Corrections, and Economic Opportunity, as well as the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, Guardian ad Litem and General Federation of Women's Clubs were a testament to our changing perspective on prevention - from one that places blame and prescribes punishment, to one that acknowledges our shared responsibility and seeks to support families and care for children to ensure health and prosperity for all.
Florida's Pinwheels for Prevention Campaign is funded primarily through the Florida Department of Children and Families; but, since pinwheels cannot be purchased with state funds, PCA Florida collects private donations and coordinates bulk purchases to minimize costs to partnering organizations. Despite a dockworker strike on the West Coast that caused significant, unexpected delays in the delivery of pinwheels to Florida this spring, PCA Florida was still able to distribute 50,000 pinwheels to partners throughout the state who organized more than 96 Pinwheels for Prevention events. From Children's Week at the Capitol, to the Family Fun Fair in Lakeland, to the Human Trafficking Training in Key West, these events each addressed the need to not only increase awareness, but also encourage actions that provide concrete support to children and families.
Other highlights from this year's campaign have included the unveiling of new organizational and campaign logos and a new statewide awareness event. Prevent Child Abuse America and each of their 50 state chapters unveiled new organization and campaign logos. The pinwheel is the national symbol for child abuse prevention and a whimsical reminder that all children deserve to live in nurturing environments that provide opportunities for healthy development. Our new chapter logo, which features the pinwheel, visually connects our work to the national Pinwheels for Prevention campaign; and, the new campaign logo visually connects all community campaign activities to our chapter.
Wear Blue Day with First Lady Ann Scott
PCA Florida also hosted the inaugural Wear Blue Day at the Capitol event and established an online photo contest to promote participation in Wear Blue Day throughout Florida. Wear Blue Day is an easy way for people everywhere to participate in raising awareness and promoting investments in effective child abuse prevention programs. First Lady Ann Scott and several state agency heads participated in Wear Blue Day at the Capitol and dozens of individuals and organizations shared their Wear Blue Day photos on PCA Florida's Facebook page to enter the online photo contest. With 141 "Likes", the photo submitted by Manatee County Sheriff's Office Child Protection Unit won the contest and received a gift basket containing 1 box of pinwheels, 10 pinwheel lapel pins, 3 blue awareness bears and 10 blue wrist bands from PCA Florida.
Focusing on prevention is better for children and far less costly to society than treating the consequences of abuse only after significant damage has been done. PCA Florida encourages everyone to find ways each day to support family stability and healthy child development, because strong families and healthy children lay the foundation for safe and prosperous communities for all.
Find out more at: https://www.ounce.org/PreventionServices.asp