Letter: Raising awareness for child abuse
Raising awareness for child abuse
April is the time when our nation celebrates Child Abuse Prevention Month. Where there will soon be tulips at Schultz Health and Human Services Building in Aspen, there are now 254 blue and silver pinwheels symbolizing hope and raising awareness to ensure the safety and healthy development of children. Each pinwheel — an uplifting symbol of childhood — represents one child in our community who has been referred to Pitkin and Western Eagle County Child Services for neglect or abuse over the last year.
April’s prevention campaign gives us an opportunity to reflect on how we are doing as a community to support healthy kids and strong families. Child abuse comes in many forms and it takes us all working together to prevent it. The children for whom these pinwheels have been planted had someone looking out for them. That someone lives or works here and recognized a risk or danger to a child and took the first step to getting it addressed. For many children, abuse and neglect will go unattended. As a community, we can support the safety and wellbeing of our children and families by focusing on prevention.
This month and every month we have cause for celebration for our many partners who work together to make a difference in the lives of our parents and children. While our department is charged with keeping kids safe by responding to reports of abuse or neglect, we are excited to work closely with families and our community partners to foster healthy patterns of engagement with children and provide the resources needed. We clearly recognize that prevention programs work when they focus on supporting parents. Most parents struggle at some point and no parent knows everything about raising a child. Knowing where to get help and having a network to lean on can make a difference.
For more information on our many programs working to support healthy families, we invite you to visit http://www.stopfightingithurts.com. If you suspect abuse or neglect any time, any day,we urge you to call our local 24-hour hotline at 970-429-2047.
Kim DuBoisAdult and Family Services manager
And the Child Welfare Caseworker Team
Pitkin/Western Eagle County