There was a nice breeze in the air that blew the blue pinwheels stuck in the lawn at Elmore County Department of Human Resources on Friday, April 2.
Several supporters and employees of the department gathered in front of the building that day to participate in a ceremony recognizing April as Child Abuse Prevention Month. DHR investigates reports of child abuse and neglect.
In 2020, Elmore County DHR investigated 494 reports of abuse and/or neglect, involving 701 children in Elmore County, according to DHR director Michelle Wood.
The Elmore County Commission recently approved a proclamation recognizing Child Abuse Prevention Month and it was read aloud at the event by District Court Judge Patrick Pinkston.
According to the proclamation, child abuse and neglect often occurs when people find themselves in stressful situations without community resources and they do not know how to adequately cope. The majority of child abuse cases stem from situations and conditions that are preventable in an engaged and supportive community.
Pinkston and Wood encouraged all citizens to become involved in supporting families in raising their children in safe, nurturing environments.
"Whereas, effective child abuse prevention programs succeed because of partnerships created among social service agencies, schools, faith communities, civic organizations, law enforcement agencies and the business community," the proclamation reads. "Therefore, we call on all citizens, community agencies, faith groups, medical facilities and businesses to increase their participation efforts to support families, thereby preventing child abuse and strengthening the communities in which we live."
The blue Pinwheels for Prevention represent a "childlike whimsy and lightheartedness" and the "vision for a world where all children grow up happy, healthy and prepared to succeed in supportive families and communities," according to Prevent Child Abuse America website.
After the reading of the proclamation, those in attendance placed the pinwheels in DHR's front lawn in representation of the children served by the department over the past year.