Across the country, April is recognized as Child Abuse Prevention Month. State and local agencies and concerned citizens all work toward the common purpose of preventing child abuse and deliver a powerful, collective message about the importance of protecting children, supporting families and strengthening communities.
You will notice around the State of West Virginia, and right here in Wetzel and Tyler Counties, the blue and silver pinwheels. In 2008, Prevent Child Abuse America introduced the pinwheel as the new national symbol for child abuse prevention through Pinwheels for Prevention. What their research showed is that people respond to the pinwheel. By its very nature, the pinwheel signifies whimsy and childlike notions. In essence, it has come to serve as the physical reminder of the great childhoods we want for all children. WV Partners in Prevention, The Lighthouse Child Advocacy Center, Wetzel County Family Resource Network, Tyler County Family Resource Network, and the Tyler County Prevention Coalition has placed several pinwheels at various schools, businesses, and agencies to promote awareness for prevention of child abuse. When you see them, smile and know that we all can work together to insure the children of West Virginia are safe.
WV Partners in Prevention is a unique model of communities working together to strengthen families and help West Virginia's children grow up free from abuse and neglect. This model is based on the belief that child well-being hinges on the capacity of local communities to support families and protect children. This approach is built on a framework of collaboration between and among community groups, state and local organizations and local teams.
Representatives from Wetzel County agencies/organizations gathered on the Courthouse steps for a photo to take a stand against child abuse. Those represented include: Wetzel County Commission, New Martinsville School, Wetzel County Schools, Progressive Bank, EZ Care, WCCCF, Family Violence Prevention Program, WVNCC, The Lighthouse Child Advocacy Center, Partners in Prevention, and Wetzel County FRN.
The Lighthouse Child Advocacy Center's mission is to meet the needs of children and families in our community by providing a community-based, child-focused Center that facilitates a compassionate, multi-disciplinary approach to the prevention, identification, investigation, prosecution, and treatment of child abuse.
The Tyler and Wetzel County Family Resource Networks are local coalitions of people working together to better meet the needs and improve services for children and families in their communities.
The Tyler County Prevention Coalition's mission is to prevent the misuse of prescription drugs, illicit drugs, underage drinking, and to promote overall well-being by focusing on the positive, raising concern for the issues, and providing hope for a better tomorrow.
We all have a role to play in ensuring every child in our community has an equal opportunity for healthy growth and development. You can be a part of the solution by learning about the needs of children and families in our community, speaking out on behalf of children's issues, advocating for proven prevention, donating to charities that work to prevent child abuse and neglect, and supporting family or friends who are under stress. To learn about healthy child development and more ways you can help prevent child abuse and neglect in our community, visit www.preventchildabusewv.org or www.thelighthousecac.org.
Together we can build a bright and prosperous future for our community - one child at a time.