Activities mark Child Abuse Prevention Month

Published 7:58 am Wednesday, March 31, 2010

To the Editor:

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and the Franklin Department of Social Services is partnering with the Virginia Coalition for Child Abuse

Prevention to spread the message that “Now is the Time: Children Can’t Wait.”

This theme highlights the need for programs, services and caring citizens to commit resources, time and policies to the prevention of abuse and neglect of children throughout the Commonwealth.

Thousands of Virginia children suffer abuse or neglect every year at the hands of parents, caregivers or other adults, according to data from the Virginia Department of Social Services. Child-abuse investigators received more than 30,000 reports of suspected harm from July 2008 to June 2009. Of that number, 5,921 children were determined to be victims of child abuse and/or neglect.

Studies show that home visiting programs, parenting courses, support groups and parenting education classes can play a critical role in equipping parents to nurture their families.

The 2010 Prevention Month theme, “Now is the Time: Children Can’t Wait,” highlights the need for more citizens to support programs and services that promote positive parenting, champion children and strengthen families.

Local Child Abuse Prevention Month activities this April will include:

■ April 1-30, Where’s the Pinwheel

■ The planting of pinwheel “gardens” by organizations, schools and businesses throughout this community and across the state. The pinwheel is a new symbol for child abuse prevention and reflects childhood hope, health and happiness.

For more information on the Pinwheels for Prevention campaign or to learn more about positive parenting and how to prevent abuse and neglect, visit Information on Virginia’s child abuse prevention efforts can also be obtained at To report suspected abuse and neglect, contact the Virginia Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-552-7096.

De’Anna Cheatham

Senior Social Worker

Department of Social Services