The sound of young voices singing joyfully about home on Monday signaled the beginning of Child Abuse Prevention Month.
A large group of children with the Colorado Springs Conservatory performed the song “Home” as the Department of Human Services, County Commissioners and others from the community gathered to mark the start of Child Abuse Prevention Month. “Home” highlights the need for 100 new foster homes in El Paso County and there will be a robust recruitment effort in April.
“It is always about the kids,” said Linda Weis, Colorado Springs Conservatory founding CEO. “We stand here shoulder to shoulder for kids, elevating the message of taking care of our children.”
About 50 children have been practicing the song, and young singers will perform at several events around the County in April.
The event at the Conservatory concluded with the planting of more than 200 pinwheels. Prevent Child Abuse America introduced the pinwheel in 2008 as the national symbol for child abuse prevention through Pinwheels for Prevention. The pinwheels serve as the reminder of the happy, playful childhoods desired for all children.
“It takes diligence and care to save the fragility of a happy life,” said Commissioner Cami Bremer. “I want to thank the community for caring so much.”
The El Paso County Department of Human Services received more than 16,000 reports of child abuse and neglect in 2018.
“The Department of Human Services strives to protect children and help families create safe, happy homes,” said Julie Krow, El Paso County Department of Human Services executive director.
The long-term effects of child abuse and neglect are felt by the whole community, and need to be addressed by the entire community.
“We want what is best for our children, and that means working together to strengthen families,” said Commissioner Stan VanderWerf. “It takes all of us working together to make our community the safest it can be for children.”
On April 11, 2019, there will be another pinwheel planting event in the front of Centennial Hall, and a Proclamation reading recognizing National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Both events are scheduled during the regular Board of El Paso County Commissioners meeting.
A detailed calendar of events for April is online.
This April, let’s recognize the many roles that we can all play in preventing child abuse and neglect. Communities across Colorado are planting pinwheel gardens and wearing blue as the sign of collective commitment to prevent child abuse and neglect.
“The Department of Human Services cannot prevent child abuse and neglect on our own,” Krow said. “We need all of you to help get this important work done.”