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Pinwheels For Prevention Statewide Kick-Off Today
Updated April 1, 2015 7:25 AM
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(INDIANAPOLIS) - April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and today a special ceremony will take place in the Indiana Statehouse Atrium at 3pm titled, 'Let's talk about it Indiana.' The ceremony will bring child advocates and community leaders together to highlight prevention techniques.

Statewide, the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) 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 event is about unity and solidarity in making children a priority," said Jane Bisbee, Deputy Director of Field Operations, DCS. "There are events taking place throughout the state to raise the message of prevention, which is the best way to protect children from abuse and neglect."

By the time children come into the DCS system, they're already victims of abuse or neglect, added Bisbee. "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."

Sandy Runkle, Programs Director, Prevent Child Abuse Indiana, says their organization sees the root causes everyday of child abuse throughout the state. "Parenting is hard for everyone, and child maltreatment can happen in any family," said Runkle. "When a family is under stress, however, and unable to meet basic survival needs, then it may increase the risk for child maltreatment, especially if they don't have an adequate support system."

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 Bisbee. "There is tremendous work being done to protect our children in the State of Indiana and here in Indianapolis, but there is always opportunity for each of us to do more."

Statewide, there are currently over 17,000 children being served by DCS, which includes 4073 children in Indianapolis. Governor Mike Pence proclaimed April as Child Abuse Prevention Month in Indiana, and Lieutenant Governor, Sue Ellspermann will kick off the month with a special ceremony and the planting of a pinwheels garden on the south lawn of the Indiana Statehouse.

Today, at 3:00 pm, a short ceremony will highlight the importance of child abuse prevention efforts in Indiana. In addition to the Lieutenant Governor, DCS and Prevent Child Abuse Indiana, Pastor Kenneth Sullivan, Sr. Pastor of New Direction Church and Tina Cloer, President and CEO of Children's Bureau will make remarks at the ceremony. Additionally, there will be performances from local high school students.

For more information about child abuse prevention services, programs and resources, please visit

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