Families and children can find love and support in many ways – through places in communities that offer a sense of belonging, from teachers who inspire and lift children, or through home visitors who step in and offer support and guidance to families. April, Child Abuse Prevention Month, is a time to celebrate and lift up the places and people in your community that celebrate the importance of children and their families. You, too, through your partnerships with families and community partners, build protective factors by recognizing the strengths and resiliency support in families and community.
The Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) coordinates statewide activities for Child Abuse Prevention Month through the work of the Strengthening Families Washington team.
All month long, DCYF, organizations, and individuals throughout Washington and the country plan activities and promote messages to remind us of the importance of positive childhood experiences and that we all have a role to play, which includes the important work you do to support families experiencing hardship and trauma.
The Pinwheels for Prevention campaign is part of the Prevent Child Abuse America national effort to raise awareness about child abuse and neglect prevention. This year, almost 15,000 blue and silver pinwheels will be distributed around the state. Thousands will also be planted at the state capitol building on March 31 at 3 p.m.
The pinwheel is a timeless symbol of the joy and happiness of childhood and the symbol of the Pinwheels for Prevention campaign, offering a visual representation in communities to remind children and those around them that they are important. Proceeds from the pinwheel sales go to the Children’s Trust of Washington, housed at DCYF.
Every act that builds protective factors in families is an act of prevention. These can be connecting a family to concrete support, parents spending quality time invested in their child, or a neighbor providing a meal to a family so the family can reduce stress and enjoy each other. Each pinwheel you see can be a reminder to inspire us all to support children having joyful and happy childhoods.
The pinwheel is also represented in a variety of other free items, including our Protective Factors coloring book, our annual Child Abuse Prevention coloring page, seeds for starting your own garden or helping the bees, pinwheel temporary tattoos, and our build your own bulletin board pinwheel display. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org to request any of these items to be mailed to you.
In addition to our pinwheels, we also want to invite everyone in Washington to participate in Wear Blue Day on Friday, April 1, to stand for strong and resilient childhoods. It’s easy – just wear blue!