The month of April is devoted to celebrating everything we can do to transform our community into a place that cares about – and actively supports – families and children. By ensuring that all parents in our community have access to quality childcare, affordable health services, parenting education resources, and substance abuse and mental health programs, we will make progress toward what the month stands for: April is Child Abuse Prevention Month.

The majority of child abuse cases stem from situations and conditions that are entirely preventable in an engaged and supportive community. For example, a community that cares about early childhood development, parent support and mental health is more likely to see families nurturing children who are born healthy and enter school ready to learn. Cities and towns that work to create high quality school systems and that come together to ensure that affordable housing is available in good, safe neighborhoods are less likely to see stressed, isolated families who don’t know where to turn.

Child Abuse Prevention Month is about connecting all of these dots so that the solutions to child abuse receive the attention the public desires. In a recent poll, 89 percent of Americans reported that child abuse was a “very important” moral issue to them. But it’s not enough to care about the problem and address its consequences. We have to pay attention to the kinds of efforts that will prevent it from happening in the first place. So this April, learn more about what you and your community can do to support child abuse prevention. It is a shared responsibility and we’re stronger when we work together.

Be on the lookout for blue pinwheels spinning in the wind in your community during the month of April. The pinwheel is the national symbol for child abuse and neglect prevention because it is reflective of the bright future all children deserve.

“Pinwheels for Prevention is a grassroots movement everyone can join” said Alison Fegan, Health Educator for Central Michigan District Health Department. “Show that you care by getting involved in preventing child abuse and neglect before it occurs.”

For more information on Child Abuse Prevention Month activities going on in your community, contact the local child abuse and neglect prevention council or visit www.michigan.gov/ctf.

This article was provided to you by the staff at Central Michigan District Health Department which serves the residents in Arenac, Clare, Gladwin, Isabella, Osceola and Roscommon Counties.

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