April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month

To honor National Child Abuse Prevention Month, Sacramento County Child Protective Services staff “planted” more than 350 silver and blue pinwheels at the CPS office on Bradshaw Center Road on April 1. On average, CPS social workers investigate 795 reports of child abuse or neglect involving 180 children every month. 

In 2008, Prevent Child Abuse America introduced the pinwheel as the national symbol for child abuse prevention through Pinwheels for Prevention®. The pinwheels represented childlike whimsy and lightheartedness. Since then, agencies including child advocacy centers across the nation have been planting Pinwheel Gardens to raise awareness of child abuse and neglect and to support the healthy development of our nation’s children.

“It’s important to show our appreciation for social workers and our partners who provide community-based services to strengthen families and support child safety. Together, they have a profound impact each day in the lives of children and families across our community. The pinwheels are a reminder that we should all want each child in our community to have a safe and happy childhood.” 

,Michelle Callejas, Director of the Sacramento County Department of Child, Family and Adult Services

Children have the right to grow up in a safe environment. It’s a promise our society makes to its most vulnerable residents. And yet, every year that promise eludes thousands of children. Though working together as a community and recognizing the complex social issues that can contribute to child abuse such as poverty, unemployment, homelessness, and drug abuse and implementing prevention programs, we can end child abuse and neglect. 

In honor of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, here are a few things you can do:5 tips for preventing child abuse and neglect:

  1. Be a friend to a parent you know. Ask how their children are doing. Draw on your own experiences to provide reassurance and support. If a parent seems to be struggling, offer to babysit or run errands, or just lend a friendly ear. Show you understand.
  2. Be a friend to a child you know. Remember their names. Smile when you talk with them. Ask them about their day at school. Send them a card in the mail. Show you care.
  3. Talk to your neighbors about looking out for one another’s children. Encourage a supportive spirit among parents in your apartment building or on your block. Show that you are involved.
  4. Give your used clothing, furniture and toys to another family to use. This can help relieve the stress of financial burdens on parents.
  5. Volunteer your time and money for programs in your community that support children and families.

To learn more about the Sacramento County Department of Child, Family and Adult Services including prevention programs and strategies, visit the Child Protective Services webpage. Information is also available to learn more about Family Resource Centers and Community Incubator Leads (neighborhoods charged with prevention and intervention efforts to reduce disproportionate African American child deaths). 

To report child abuse in Sacramento County, call the 24-hour Child Abuse Hotline 916-875-5437, and in case of an emergency, call 911 for law enforcement.

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