April is National Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month. A Pinwheel Garden was planted in front of the Alcona County Courthouse in Harrisville. Here’s more on that story.
It’s April 1st, and April Fools Day, but when it comes to child abuse, and neglect that’s no joke. Members of CANPAC, and Child and Family Services of Northeast Michigan planted a Pinwheel Garden in recognition of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month.
CANPAC is a statewide group that promotes positive ways to prevent child abuse and neglect. Members of the organization said the pinwheels are a way to make people become more aware that abuse and neglect actually happens.
“People need to be aware that it’s happening in the community, in this community, in every community. It’s not isolated, it’s not down below, it’s right here. We need to be paying attention to our children, and we need to be looking at them. We need to see if families are struggling. We can easily see if we’re looking, if we’re aware,” Meg Nisbet of Child and Family Services said.
Coordinator of the 2nd annual event, Tamara Quick said there are many positive ways people can help a child that has been a victim of abuse or neglect.
“We can help our neighbors, we can reach out to single parents, especially single moms; we can offer to baby–sit, or take them a meal. We can donate food to the food pantries, to the backpack program, which sends food home for children on weekends so they have enough food for them to eat. I mean this is a real concern for our county. Mentoring a young teenager that’s pregnant, that’s another need. There’s also the mops program is available as well. There’s many things people can do…they can also donate, and contact CANPAC through the Northeast Community Partnership in Alpena, and that number is 989–356–2880,” Quick said.
Quick adds that poverty is the number one reason many children fall victim to abuse and neglect.
“People are often afraid of talking about it (abuse) or uncomfortable with it. It is happening here, and we know that poverty is the number one indicator as well of child abuse and neglect,” she revealed.
When it comes to this touchy subject, you can make a difference if you know the signs.
“The obvious signs would be marks or bruises. If people notice that, they should contact a professional if they’re not comfortable reporting that. There is a DHHS number to that too if you need to report that. Or if you see how a child is treated in public that might make you uncomfortable. I think we all play a role in children’s healthy development, we all need to step up and we all need to be involved,” Quick finished.
In Harrisville, for WBKB News, I’m Star Connor.