COLUMBIA CITY — A focus on preventing child abuse is slated for Tuesday at 5 p.m.
Communities across the state will gather together simultaneously for Pinwheels for Prevention ceremonies marking the need to prevent child abuse in Indiana.
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and in Whitley County a special ceremony will take place on the lawn of the County Courthouse.
Statewide, the Department of Child Services is working with local Prevent Child Abuse Indiana councils, court-appointed special advocates (CASAs) as well as other child advocacy groups and local officials, to unite families, neighbors, professionals and policy-makers in the concerted effort to identify and address the issues that lead to abuse or neglect.
“This is about unity and solidarity in making children a priority,” said Steve Weaver, Local Office director.
“By the time children come into the DCS system, they’re already victims of abuse or neglect,” said Weaver.
“We need all eyes and ears in the community reporting child abuse and neglect, but equally important, we need everyone—from families and extended families to neighbors and friends—working together to prevent child abuse.”
DCS, child advocacy groups and local government officials understand the realities that can lead to family crises.
“Child abuse prevention is a cause that should mobilize our communities to blend our resources, talents and efforts in order to protect vulnerable children,” added Weaver.
“There is tremendous work being done to protect our children in the State of Indiana, but there is always opportunity for each of us to do more.”
There are currently 38 children in Whitley County being served by DCS.
On April 8, a special Pinwheels for Prevention garden will be planted on the front lawn of the Courthouse.
At 5 p.m., a short ceremony will highlight the importance of child abuse prevention efforts in the county.
A representative from the Whitley County Domestic Violence Task Force will make a short presentation.
Governor Mike Pence has proclaimed April as Prevent Child Abuse Awareness Month in Indiana.
The governor will kick off the Marion County ceremony at the Indiana State House.
DCS is committed to protecting children who are victims of abuse or neglect.
The agency's primary goal is to safely keep these children at home with their families by offering appropriate support services.
It also manages the child support bureau.
For more information, contact the Indiana Child Abuse/Neglect Hotline: at 800-800-5556 or visit www.in.gov/dcs .