Thousands of pinwheels have been planted across the nation this month, and hundreds at the Schultz Health and Human Service Building in Aspen, to raise awareness during Child Abuse Prevention Month. Each of the 254 spinning, blue and silver pinwheels planted in the ground represents a child referred for potential abuse or neglect in Pitkin County in 2015.
“Almost every day for the last eight years, we have worked to keep kids safe in our community,” said Manager of Pitkin County Adult and Family Services, Kim DuBois. “What instills hope and promise for me and my team is that we’ve seen a very important shift in recent years from intervention to a strong commitment to prevention.”
With support from programs including Colorado Community Response and Differential Response, all child and adult protection agencies statewide are encouraged to help families build on their highest potential to raise healthy children.
There are many partnering agencies locally that offer programs intended to have a positive impact on children and families including: Kids First, an early childhood resource center supporting quality, affordable childcare choices in Aspen and Pitkin County; Smart Start, a program that offers financial assistance to low income families for early childhood educational assistance,; and Stop Fighting It Hurts, a website that provides easy access to resources for families and information about how unhealthy fighting impacts children.
“While our department is charged with keeping kids safe by responding to reports of abuse or neglect, we are excited to work closely with families and our community partners to foster healthy patterns of engagement with children and provide the resources needed,” DuBois said.
“We clearly recognize that prevention programs work when they focus on supporting parents.”
More information about local programs that support healthy families is available at www.stopfightingithurts.com. If abuse or neglect is suspected at any time, any day, citizens are urged to call the local 24-hour hotline at (970) 429 2047.
Contact: Kim DuBois - Adult and Child Protection Manager: 970-429-2047