Child Abuse Prevention Month Recap: Over 40,000 Pinwheels Distributed!

Child Abuse Prevention Month Recap: Over 40,000 Pinwheels Distributed!

Leading into April, Illuminate Colorado called on Coloradans to claim their FREE pinwheels and plant them in their front yards and neighborhoods as part of a national movement to recognize the importance of community-based support for all children and families during National Child Abuse Prevention Month this April, and all year-long. We ended up surpassing our goal, giving away over 40,000 free Pinwheels for Prevention® to inspire Coloradans to grow a better tomorrow for all children, together.

Throughout the month of April, Illuminate and other Prevent Child Abuse America (PCAA) chapters, as well as local supporters in more than 100 cities in Colorado, planted pinwheels and used a community garden metaphor to reinforce the message that “every day, we help positive childhood experiences take root.”

“We can build healthier, safer and thriving communities if we take the same approach to raising families that we do to tending a community garden on a shared piece of land. Just like a plant is more likely to thrive in a garden with good soil and plenty of sunlight and water, families are more likely to thrive in nurturing communities,” said Jade Woodard, executive director of Illuminate Colorado.

Planting a pinwheel represents the bright childhoods we all want for children and the goal was that, with over 40,000 pinwheels planted in front yards and neighborhoods throughout the state, more people would know how to plant the seeds for all children to grow up happy and healthy.

The following are some of the highlights from the month:

  • April 1 was Wear Blue Day, a day to show support for positive childhood experiences. Photos and videos were posted on social media and included #WearBlueDay2021. We also joined together withGovernor Jared Polis for the virtual launch of National Child Abuse Prevention Month in Colorado.
  • The Colorado State House of Representatives recognized April 1st as the first day of Child Abuse Prevention Month and paid tribute to the work happening in Colorado to prevent child abuse.
  • Ten state legislators recorded videos showing their support for children and families and encouraged others to get involved in Child Abuse Prevention Month.
  • We distributed 62,160,600 messages through earned media, paid media and organic social media during the month of April that promoted prevention and reached 81,405 Coloradans.
  • Through the #GrowingBetterTogether Photo Contest, community members submitted pinwheels photos for a chance to win a grant for their favoriteColorado nonprofit serving children and families! Photos with the most votes won the opportunity to select a Colorado nonprofit serving children and families to receive grants of $1,000, $300 and $200.
  • A FREE two-hour interactive virtual introductory course to learn how to “bring the protective factors to life” at home, work and in your community was offered twice during April. Ten Colorado counties were represented in the trainings!
  • April 8 was World Day for Prevention and Healing from Child Sexual Abuse, a day when we talked about how every survivor and their loved ones need access to services for healing and resilience. Together, we can reach a tipping point inColorado where children grow up happy, healthy and safe in communities that prevent children from experiencing sexual abuse. If enough adults in a community take a FREE two-hour interactive online training then, together, we can create a new standard of child safety in your community and throughout Colorado. Visit TipColorado.org  to help your county reach the tipping point.
  • We joined PCAA and sorority partners at Kappa Delta and Sigma Delta Tau for Digital Advocacy Day, where community members were encouraged to contact their elected officials and spread the word about policy change that’s vital to the well-being of children and their families. You can still visit IlluminateColorado.org/2021policy for a guide to what policies and legislation in Colorado build protective factors.
  • Throughout the month, our communities used the hashtag#GrowingBetterTogether to connect to the movement, finding ways to get involved and signify their commitment to helping children, families and entire communities to thrive.

Thank you so much, Colorado, for helping us spread awareness about child abuse prevention throughout the month of April. We couldn’t have done it without you and we look forward to continuing the work of strengthening families, organizations and communities to prevent child maltreatment throughout the rest of the year with you!

Digital Advocacy Opportunity: Contact Congress Tomorrow

Digital Advocacy Opportunity: Contact Congress Tomorrow

Tomorrow, April 21, 2021, is Prevent Child Abuse America’s second annual Digital Advocacy Day, and we need your help! Join advocates across the country at 12:00pm MT TOMORROW to contact your lawmakers and urge them to act now to reauthorize the bipartisan Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) and increase funding for this important program. 

Background Information

The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) represents a cornerstone of our nation’s system for both preventing and responding to incidents of child abuse and neglect. Created in 1974, CAPTA reflects the entire continuum of supports to children, parents, and families, from primary prevention strategies at the heart of Title II (Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention [CBCAP] grants) to the identification and treatment of abuse and neglect in Title I (state grants). Through CAPTA reauthorization, the current 117th Congress has an extraordinary opportunity to strengthen community-based supports to families to prevent child abuse and neglect.

Last year, CAPTA reauthorization passed the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously and in the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions with bipartisan support. Additionally, a Senate bipartisan “Dear Colleague” letter, signed by 28 U.S. Senators, nearly one-third of the Senate, advocated for robust funding increases in CAPTA appropriations.

Unfortunately, CAPTA reauthorization was never considered on the Senate floor, and ultimately Congress never passed it into law. Congress did, however, increase funding for CBCAP, appropriating a $16 million increase for the first time in 15 years and an additional $5 million increase the following year. This still only funds primary prevention at 82 cents per child per year, resulting in a great deal of unmet need.  

Why Is CBCAP Important?

Due to the pandemic, parents and caregivers are confronted with extraordinary challenges, including decreased wages or loss of work, lack of childcare, and housing instability, among other hardships that can compound the day-to-day stress of raising children. CBCAP is designed to help families get the support they need before harm occurs, including voluntary evidence-based home visiting services, community-based parent support programs, early childhood and child care programs, family resource centers, and coordination and connection with mental health, substance use, and domestic violence services, among others. CBCAP provides grants to all 50 states to meet the needs of communities, realized through partnerships that use federal funding to leverage greater state and local public and private dollars.

As Congress works to reauthorize this historically bipartisan legislation, we urge them to include significant funding increases to provide states and communities the resources to drive community-based solutions that strengthen and improve child and family well-being. We recommend that Congress authorize and appropriate $750 million for Title II of CAPTA in fiscal year 2022. An increase in funding will enable greater service delivery to address the needs of vulnerable families and provide much-needed support and systems-building at the state and community levels.

Key Messages
  • We all have an obligation to protect our nation’s children.
  • Due to the pandemic, parents and caregivers are confronted with extraordinary challenges, including decreased wages or loss of work, lack of adequate childcare, and housing instability, among other hardships that can compound the day-to-day stress of raising children.
  • Given the unprecedented challenges the pandemic has inflicted on America’s families, there is an urgent need for services and supports made possible by the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA).
  • Access to these services and supports can be instrumental in lowering parent and caregiver stress and incidences of child abuse by providing  families the support they need before harm occurs.
  • When we fail to prevent abuse and neglect from occurring, it has tremendous consequences for children, families, communities, and our nation. Exposure to violence at a young age can heighten the risk for physical health issues later on in life, such as smoking, alcoholism, and drug abuse and addiction; mental health disorders; and criminal behavior.   
  • But child abuse and neglect are not inevitableResearch shows that the safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and environments that children need to thrive are linked to a lower incidences of child abuse and neglect. 
  • Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (CBCAP) grants, an important provision of CAPTA, fund key services that prevent child maltreatment in all 50 states, including voluntary evidence-based home visiting programs, parent support programs, distribution of food and medication, family resource centers, child care, and coordination and connection with mental health, substance use, and domestic violence services, among others.
  • CBCAP represents the main federal investment in primary prevention for the entire country; however, it has been chronically under-funded. In 2020, CBCAP funded prevention at only 82 cents per child per year, resulting in a great deal of unmet need. (See “Graphics” below)
  • As Congress works to reauthorize CAPTA, we urge them to include significant funding increases that provide states and communities the resources they need and drive community-based solutions for strengthening and improving child and family well-being
  • Specifically, we recommend that Congress authorizes and appropriates $750 million for Title II of CAPTA in fiscal year 2022. 
Sample Tweets
  • Thank you, @HouseFloor & @SenateFloor, for including a critical amount of aid to families & communities in the #AmericanRescuePlan #CAPTA #CBCAP #MIECHV @PCAAmerica #GrowingBetterTogether #CAPMonth
  • But our work isn’t over—@HouseFloor & @SenateFloor, we must increase funding to #CAPTA Title II #CBCAP now. Local prevention programs are critical during times of crisis to ensure parents have the tools to manage stress & keep children safe. Let’s focus on #GrowingBetterTogether this #CAPMonth @PCAAmerica
  • Join us in urging Congress to act to approve increased funding for #CAPTA, appropriating $750M for #CBCAP grants, which are vital to providing necessary supports to lower familial stress…contact your representatives today! #GrowingBetterTogether #CAPMonth @PCAAmerica
  • Additional stress from #COVID19 can increase the risk of child abuse, but we can support families with prevention services. Congress must increase funding to #CAPTA #CBCAP now…tell your representatives today! We’re #GrowingBetterTogether during #CAPMonth & all year long! @PCAAmerica
  • Congress must act to invest in our children’s future by increasing #CAPTA funding now. Access to concrete supports can be instrumental in lowering familial stress & incidences of child abuse and neglect…contact your representatives today! We’re #GrowingBetterTogether during #CAPMonth & all year long! @PCAAmerica
  • Local prevention services & programs are critical during times of crisis to ensure parents have the tools to manage stress & keep their children safe. Congress must increase funding for #CAPTA #CBCAP now…contact your representatives today! Let’s focus on #GrowingBetterTogether in #CAPMonth @PCAAmerica
Email/Phone Script

Dear [your member of Congress], 

Given the unprecedented challenges the pandemic has inflicted on America’s families, there is an urgent need for services and supports made possible by the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA)As Congress works to reauthorize this important bipartisan legislationI urge you to include significant funding increases that provide states and communities the resources they need and drive community-based solutions for strengthening and improving child and family well-beingSpecifically, please ensure that Congress authorizes and appropriates $750 million for Title II of CAPTA in the first year of reauthorization, ramping up to $1.5 billion for Title II over 5 years. 

Investments to Title II, the Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention grants (often referred to as CBCAP), will make an immediate and meaningful difference in the lives of children and families across the country. CBCAP funds key services that prevent child maltreatment in all 50 states, including voluntary evidence-based home visiting programs, parent support programs, distribution of food and medication, family resource centers, child care, and coordination and connection with mental health, substance use, and domestic violence services, among others. Expanding this program will be transformational for parents and families and is essential to building healthy and thriving communities throughout the United States.

I fully support this legislation and hope that you will, too.

Thank you for your time and consideration. 

Sincerely, 

[Your name, address, and contact information, if you wish to receive a response] 

Congressional Contact List

Use our Find & Contact Your Representative resource page to reach out today!

Due to the pandemic, parents and caregivers are confronted with extraordinary challenges, including decreased wages or loss of work, lack of adequate childcare, and housing instability, among other hardships that can compound the day-to-day stress of raising children. Given the unprecedented challenges the pandemic has inflicted on America’s families, there is an urgent need for services and supports made possible by the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA). Access to these services and supports can be instrumental in lowering parent and caregiver stress and incidences of child abuse by providing families the support they need before harm occurs.

Specifically, we’re requesting that Congress authorizes and appropriates $750 million for Title II of CAPTA in fiscal year 2022. This crucial investment in American families will support resources at the state and community levels that mitigate the many challenges and stressors parents and caregivers are facing right now. 

CBCAP represents the main federal investment in primary prevention for the entire country; however, it has been chronically under-funded. In 2020, CBCAP funded prevention at only 82 cents per child per year, resulting in a great deal of unmet need. As Congress works to reauthorize CAPTA, we urge them to include significant funding increases that provide states and communities the resources they need and drive community-based solutions for strengthening and improving child and family well-being.

Find and contact your Representative. Your members of Congress need to hear from you! Please get involved by emailing, tweeting, posting on Facebook, and calling your senators and representatives. (NOTE: Because many representatives and congressional staff are working remotely, email and Twitter/Facebook are better vehicles than phone calls right now, but please call if that’s your preferred means of communication.)

It’s Pinwheel Planting Season!

It’s Pinwheel Planting Season!

Every day, we help positive childhood experiences take root. Planting pinwheels represents the bright childhoods we all want for children. Since 2009, as the Colorado Chapter for Prevent Child Abuse America, Illuminate Colorado has lead an effort to distribute pinwheels throughout our state to raise awareness for the prevention of child abuse and strengthening families. 

And since the beginning of the Pinwheels for Prevention® Campaign in Colorado, our collective efforts have grown exponentially with hundreds of local organizations and individuals distributing more than fifty thousand pinwheels each year. It was an amazing effort, that is until last year. Just as we were getting started distributing pinwheels the pandemic hit Colorado and we have been storing approximately forty thousand pinwheels in our offices ever since.

And while life may have not returned to normal yet, we are not going to let that deter us from doing what our organization always does this time of year – get ready for child abuse prevention month in April. However, we also know we can’t rely on our tried and true strategy of connecting with community organizations, early childhood councils, human service agencies, advocates and schools to inspire their communities to strengthen families. Those folks are busy and STRESSED dedicating their careers to creating positive childhood experiences and supporting people parenting during this incredibly stressful time in all of our lives.

This year, we need to look to you – our friends, families and neighbors – to plant pinwheels in your front yards or neighborhoods as a symbol of support for the bright childhoods we all want for children. We know we need this reminder now more than ever. 

To that end, we are excited to announce that – for the first time thanks to the generous support of our Board of Directors and the philanthropic community- Illuminate Colorado is giving away 40,000 FREE Pinwheels for Prevention® to inspire ​Coloradans to grow a better tomorrow for all children, together. 

Pinwheels for Prevention® Giveaway!

Illuminate Colorado is giving away 40,000 FREE Pinwheels for Prevention® to inspire ​Coloradans to grow a better tomorrow for all children, together. 

The coronavirus outbreak and its subsequent losses have changed our world permanently. In the United States and likely your community, parents and professionals alike are still trying to adapt and understand the new landscape that the pandemic has created and its repercussions for raising happy healthy children. 

The risk to our nation’s children for experiencing child abuse and neglect in times of extreme stress and uncertainty is quite high. COVID-19 has added stressors to the lives of parents and caregivers, such as loss of employment, loss of income due to lack of paid leave, school and business closings that necessitate new childcare and homeschool arrangements, and food insecurity.

Physical distancing leads to the unintended consequence of isolation. The social connections and community services and activities that serve as protective factors against child abuse and neglect under ordinary conditions may not exist in this extraordinary time of physical distancing. 

Join us in planting the seeds of a better tomorrow for children and families in your community by visiting COPinwheelsForPevention.org to get your free pinwheels TODAY.  

There is a limit of 100 FREE pinwheels per household or organization and shipping and handling costs are not included in this special offer. 

Use Pinwheels for Prevention®

  • Give the pinwheels as a gift to another family to let them know you care

  • Display them in the background of your virtual meetings
  • Share pictures on social media #GrowingBetterTogether to promote positive childhood experiences

Ways to Get Involved

Follow #GrowingBetterTogether to Connect to the Movement in Your Community

Tag us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to Let Us Know You are Committed to #GrowingBetterTogether

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Subscribe

Subscribe to Illuminate Colorado’s blog to find out about more activities planned for Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Advocates Begin Campaign to Strengthen Families During the COVID-19 Public Health Crisis

Advocates Begin Campaign to Strengthen Families During the COVID-19 Public Health Crisis

Today, Illuminate Colorado, in coordination with Prevent Child Abuse America, and other state and local community partners throughout Colorado, begins a month-long nationwide awareness and impact campaign: Everyone Can Make Great Childhoods Happen—Especially You, Especially Now!” to engage Coloradans in strengthening families to prevent child maltreatment.

“When parents are stressed, have few social connections, and limited access to resources to support their families, the risk to children of experiencing toxic stress and child maltreatment is great,” said Jade Woodard executive director of Illuminate Colorado. “We are asking Coloradans to learn about the positive things we all need to be doing to strengthen families right now.”

Visit www.COPinwheelsForPrevention.org to learn more and get involved during Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Download the press release Announcing the Everyone Can Make Great Childhoods Happen – Especially You, Especially Now! Campaign. 

Related Posts

It is important to raise awareness and promote positive messages now more than ever.

It is important to raise awareness and promote positive messages now more than ever.

We recognize that the added stress of the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Colorado, the closure of schools and child care services and social distancing places children and families at greater risk for toxic stress and child maltreatment. We need to support each other now more than ever, just from six feet away or simply checking in online, text or phone call to see how a friend is doing. You can still talk to one another, in fact it is critical that you do. 

Illuminate Colorado intends to continue to support raising awareness for the prevention of child abuse next month and we will continue to promote positive messages and information through our social media channels for parents and caregivers to help navigate this situation. 

Because shipping and handling of pinwheels may be impacted by this current crisis, we highly encourage you to ORDER pinwheels immediately if you plan to have pinwheels at your home or work during the month of April. We are assessing the situation daily, but there may be a disruption in shipping processes. We will update the www.copinwheelsforprevention.org website with updated information and inform pinwheels recipients if your order will not be able to be fulfilled in a timely-manner. 

We encourage you to join us for the Pinwheels for Prevention Campaign Zoom Meeting

Wednesday, March 18
1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
RSVP to add to your calendar and get call-in and web link. 

[REGISTRATION IS CLOSED]

We will talk about ways you can get active online during child abuse prevention month and provide a space to connect with one another to learn how other communities and organizations are handling this unique circumstance. 

Many of the statewide efforts during child abuse prevention month were focused on online engagement, but we understand that many local communities are canceling or reevaluating child abuse prevention month activities for April. 

Communicating positive messages that support parents and children are paramount. We are offering the Strengthening Communications Network, a new FREE tool included with the download of the Pinwheels for Prevention Awareness Toolkit [TOOLKIT NO LONGER AVAILABLE] to anyone who would like to receive daily suggested content to help strengthen families, please email Illuminate Colorado Communications Director KFacchinello@illuminatecolorado.org if you would like to join or simply download the toolkit [TOOLKIT NO LONGER AVAILABLE] for child abuse prevention month to learn more. 

Are you an engaging extrovert who can help promote prevention in your community?

Are you an engaging extrovert who can help promote prevention in your community?

Get prepared to get out into the community during child abuse prevention month, and all year-long, to give presentations to your local rotary, community cafes, chamber of commerce or church!

One of the best ways to gain understanding of what it’s like to experience something you yourself have never been through is to hear someone who has had that experience talk about it. Hearing personal stories of parents and volunteers has a unique kind of impact; it’s very effective in making the audience think, I have the power to prevent child abuse. 

By the same token, another very effective way of really getting the point across to somebody is to have an expert, community leader or an authority present information about prevention. For example, a group of new moms may be more interested in what a pediatrician has to say than they would be in the views of a layperson, or maybe both!

Speakers can narrow the gap between talking about something and fully understanding it. For this reason, the Pinwheels for Prevention Campaign in Colorado is building a speakers bureau program to promote strengthening families in the community and understanding of how everyone can prevent child maltreatment. Engaging extroverts who would like to join the Prevention Promoters Speakers Bureau should attend a 2 hour training

Volunteers, nonprofit board members and leaders, fellow advocate, experts and people with lived experiences will all benefit from an opportunity to:

  • Spend some time reviewing framing and messaging best practices and learn fun interactive games to use with large groups to illustrate the importance of child abuse prevention.
  • Get comfortable delivering your “elevator speech”, as well as your 10 -15 min community presentation great for rotary groups, church groups, chambers of commerce or media interviews. 
  • Get feedback from your peers and tips and tricks for media interviews and public speaking engagements to improve your community outreach efforts!

Click HERE to learn more about the Prevention Promoters Speakers Bureau and sign up for the first training on March 4th.

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