El Paso County, Colorado, April 7, 2023 – Blue pinwheels now spin in front of Centennial Hall. El Paso County Commissioners and staff from the County Department of Human Services planted more than 150 pinwheels Tuesday to mark National Child Abuse Prevention Month. The Board of El Paso County Commissioners also approved a Proclamation recognizing the month as part of normal meeting.
“All parents and caregivers need support sometimes, and supporting children and families early is far less costly to society and individuals than healing from trauma,” said Commissioner Stan VanderWerf as he read the Proclamation into the record.
In 2022 for El Paso County, 21,432 calls were made to the child abuse and neglect reporting hotline, generating 16,313 referrals involving El Paso County children. Not every referral becomes a case, sometimes the response is to connect a family to resources.
“Child protection staff do not do this job for the recognition, but because they care for the community and the children and families we serve,” said Chris Garvin, deputy executive director of El Paso County Department of Human Services (DHS).
The common thread in remarks is that everyone can help prevent child abuse and neglect.
“Child safety is a cornerstone of any strong community, and it is definitely one that El Paso County embraces,” said DHS Children, Youth and Family Services Director Catania Jones. She thanked County leadership as well as community partners, care providers, and all those who help keep children safe and support families.
The Board of County Commissioners thanked DHS staff for their never-ending work to help families and protect children. “There is always work to be done; but we’ve made huge strides in ensuring that we can do our jobs while providing the tools necessary for thriving families,” said Commissioner Chair Cami Bremer.
The pinwheel “garden” at Centennial Hall is a tradition during the month of April. 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 childhoods desired for all children.
If you have a concern about a child, call the hotline at 1-844-CO-4-KIDS. Those calling are not expected to know what abuse or neglect looks like; they only need to have a concern for a child. Every bit of information can help case workers see the bigger picture of what a family is experiencing. For ways to support families, visit https://co4kids.org//.
Photos available; contact Kristina Iodice at email@example.com.