Events statewide will raise awareness to prevent child abuse
Governor Rick Scott issued a proclamation recognizing April as Child Abuse Prevention Month. The Department of Children and Families (DCF) is teaming up with community partners across Florida to recognize National Child Abuse Prevention Month. DCF will host and participate in statewide events designed to educate and engage communities in protecting the state’s most vulnerable children.
Governor Scott said, “I’m proud to recognize April as Child Abuse Prevention Month in Florida. As a father and a grandfather, I know how important it is that Florida’s children have a safe and caring home. By raising awareness and staying active in our communities, we can all make strides to prevent child abuse.”
DCF Secretary Mike Carroll joined First Lady Ann Scott this morning to kick off Child Abuse Prevention Month by planting a pinwheel garden at the Governor’s Mansion in Tallahassee.
First Lady Ann Scott said, “I’m honored to launch the Pinwheels for Prevention campaign to promote healthy, happy childhoods for Florida’s children. As I visit with students throughout the state, I’m reminded of the important role we all play in helping children thrive. I truly believe that every child deserves a loving and supporting home to grow and learn, and I encourage all Floridians to engage in activities that strengthen our families and communities.”
“By focusing on healthy child development and getting involved in our communities, we can ensure Florida’s children are safe, healthy, and thriving,” DCF Secretary Carroll said. “Whether you are able to open your home to a child as a foster or adoptive parent, become a volunteer in your community, advocate for a child, or find some other way to get involved, everyone can do something to contribute.”
Florida’s Pinwheels for Prevention campaign will also be recognized statewide, emphasizing the importance of healthy child development and positive parenting practices. The blue and silver pinwheels, which symbolize the happiness of childhood and vast opportunities for bright futures, will be displayed at local businesses, public offices, and schools across the state.
“All children deserve the opportunity to live healthy, happy childhoods,” said Chris Lolley, executive director of Prevent Child Abuse Florida. “Every Floridian plays a role in supporting families and helping them thrive. During Child Abuse Prevention Month, we urge individuals, groups, and communities to commit to taking simple actions that can make a difference in the life of a child.”
“Our goal throughout this month is to educate our communities on what child abuse looks like and how you can prevent it, as well as the services available to families in need,” said Florida Coalition for Children Board Chair Shawn Salamida, Director of FamiliesFirst Network of Lakeview. “The key to abuse prevention is a community focus on building strong families where children are not only safe but thrive.”
Statewide events and campaigns will serve to educate and engage Florida’s families and communities, advocating for the improvement of prevention and recovery efforts in order to protect the lives of vulnerable children.
Follow #Pinwheel and #GreatChildhoods on Twitter and Facebook to see photos of child abuse prevention events and pinwheel gardens from around the state. To find a Child Abuse Prevention Month event in your area, visit www.ounce.org/CAPevents.asp.
If you suspect that a child is being abused or neglected, call the Florida Abuse Hotline at 1-800-962-2873, Florida Relay 711 or TTY 1-800-453-5145, or report online at www.floridaabusehotline.com.