Polk Family Connection, Partners Promote Child Abuse Prevention Month

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From The Polk County Standard Journal

The role of everyone in every community to help provide a better tomorrow for all children is symbolized in the display of blue and silver pinwheels at One Door Polk in Cedartown.

The “pinwheel garden” is just one of the ways local and state partners are promoting public awareness of National Child Abuse Prevention Month throughout April.

Polk Family Connection, along with Prevent Child Abuse Georgia, recognizes the importance of community-based support for all children and families during CAP Month, with this year’s observance in the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic. The risk to our nation and community’s children for experiencing child abuse and neglect in times of extreme stress and uncertainty remains high.

COVID-19 adds stress that can overload parents and caregivers, such as loss of employment, loss of income due to lack of paid leave, the necessity of new child care and schooling arrangements, and food insecurity.

“Now more than ever, we need to band together in collective ways that help our families and children thrive. Too often, our society thinks of raising healthy children as a parent or caregiver’s responsibility alone,” said Jennifer Stein, PCA Georgia’s Director. “In reality, we all benefit when groups of people work together to collectively care for children.”

Rhonda Heuer, Polk Family Connection Executive Director, joined Polk County Department of Family and Children Services Director Susan Ollis, Polk Against Drugs Director Vann Blankenship, and a group of senior Polk County 4-H members to place the pinwheels at One Door Polk, 424 N. Main St., on Monday, March 28.

Heuer challenges everyone to stop by and take a selfie with the pinwheel garden. For every selfie taken and posted on Polk Family Connection’s Facebook page, names will be entered into a drawing for a $25 gift card. Polk County Commissioners are scheduled to recognize and sign a proclamation for CAP Month at their monthly business meeting on April 5.

The Pinwheels for Prevention campaign serves as visual reminders that we all play a role in ensuring happy and healthy childhoods for all children everywhere. Their presence has resulted in increased awareness, expanded dialogue, and community engagement around the healthy development of all children and the prevention of child abuse before it ever occurs.

“Research shows that positive childhood experiences grow thriving families and communities,” explained Melissa Merrick, president and CEO of Prevent Child Abuse America. “This is the moment to build a child and family well-being system that propels families to grow and thrive together. Please consider joining us to ensure safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments are cultivated to enable children, families, and entire communities to succeed — today and for generations to come.”

Other activities to raise awareness of CAP Month include wearing blue on April 1, Wear Blue Day, to show support for children and families and post photos on social media with the hashtags #WearBlueDay2022,

#PolkFamilyConnection, I support #PolkHappyChildhoods hashtags. Also tag @PreventChildAbuseGA and @PolkFamilyConnection in posts.

There is also training on preventing, recognizing, and responding to child abuse, and sharing the Find Help Georgia online resource hub with families at FindHelpGA.org.

Polk Family Connection and PCA Georgia encourages everyone in the state to do what they love this April and help ensure great childhoods in their community.

Contact Rhonda Heuer, Polk Family Connection, at [email protected] for more information.

Read the post on northwestgeorgianews.com.