Pinwheels for Prevention Gardens Sweep Across Oswego County

FULTON, NY – They’re popping up in front yards, Project Bloom planters, at community events and in front of city halls.

The Child Advocacy Center kicked off its Pinwheels for Prevention program by planting a pinwheel garden outside the agency’s office at 163 S. First St. in Fulton. Seated from left are Sarah Weigelt, Morgan Kiellach, and Tristen Johnson. Standing from left are Jessica Westberry, Dawn Metott, Executive Director Karrie Damm, and Aimee May.

They’re spinning in the winds of change blowing around the state and nation this April during Child Abuse Prevention Month.

They’re pinwheels and thousands of them have been distributed statewide by Prevent Child Abuse New York as a demonstration of the fast-growing belief that we can prevent – not just intervene in – child abuse and neglect.

The Pinwheels for Prevention movement is bringing prevention to life in a number of ways in communities around the state.

The movement is based on the belief that we must do more than simply respond to cases of abuse through prosecution and intervention – we need to provide programs and policies that engage communities and create conditions that allow parents to be the kinds of parents they want to be.

These programs and policies include strategies such as home visiting through the Healthy Families program, parent education and Circle of Security groups, mutual self-help support, and specialized mental health services and substance abuse treatment.

The Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County is partnering with the United Way, Catholic Charities, other human service agencies, schools, local businesses, and government agencies to bring you these beautiful pinwheel gardens throughout April.

The CAC will also hold its annual meeting on April 11 as well as offer several Darkness to Light Stewards of Children trainings to bring awareness and education regarding child abuse interventions in our community.

More information can be found at the CAC website: www.oswegocac.org.

Pinwheels for Prevention are the centerpiece of a growing movement of citizens and organizations committed to stopping child abuse before it has a chance to start.

According to Prevent Child Abuse America, the economic impact of child abuse and neglect is $103.8 billion a year.

Research documents pervasive and long-lasting effects of child abuse and neglect on children, their families and society as a whole.

Effective child abuse prevention programs ensure the health and well-being of children and families, allowing children to grow into adults who prosper and contribute to society.

“Overcoming the tremendous imbalance between what we invest on the front end to prevent abuse and neglect before it happens and what we spend as a consequence after it occurs is critical for our children, families and communities,” said Timothy Hathaway, executive director of Prevent Child Abuse New York. “Priorities such as intervention and prosecution are important elements in protecting our children, but it is clear that more and more Americans are taking a stand for the early and comprehensive prevention of abuse, not just responding to it after it occurs.”

The $103.8 billion cost of child abuse and neglect includes more than $33 billion in direct costs for foster care services, hospitalization, mental health treatment and law enforcement.

Indirect costs of more than $70 billion include loss of productivity, as well as expenditures related to chronic health problems, special education and criminal justice services.

Pinwheels for Prevention is the grassroots signature campaign for Prevent Child Abuse America and its 43 chapters nationwide.

The pinwheel has come to symbolize a person’s commitment to truly preventative measures, such as home visitation and Healthy Families services, parent education and the overall re-prioritization of our policies, programs and resources to ensure that every child is provided with a healthy, safe and nurturing home and an involved, supportive and caring community.

For more information, contact representatives at the Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County at 315-59-CHILD, 1-800-CHILDREN, www.preventchildabuseny.org or www.oswegocac.org.