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Pinwheels for Prevention child abuse awareness month.

Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect: Foster HOPE

As health leaders nationwide recognize April as Child Abuse Prevention Month, we have planted blue pinwheels at many of our CHKD buildings. The signs in the pinwheel gardens read: “Our pinwheel gardens serve as a visual reminder to celebrate children, support and strengthen families, and create communities where children can be safe from harm and free from abuse and neglect.”

We know that more than four million children are involved in reports of child abuse and neglect each year. It is also important to note that there are local and national efforts to prevent child abuse and neglect and to promote healthy outcomes for all children.

The HOPE National Resource Center outlines the building blocks of Healthy Outcomes from Positive Experiences (HOPE). When these building blocks are sturdy and stacked in a child’s favor, research shows it has a long-term positive impact on their well-being. Research has also found that the presence of these building blocks can buffer the long-term negative impact of adverse childhood experiences, including abuse and neglect. You can strengthen the building blocks of HOPE for your own children and support efforts to provide every child and family with the tools they need to increase well-being.

The four building blocks of HOPE include:

  • Relationships – Having nurturing, supportive relationships with adults and positive relationships with peers are critical for healthy development and support resilience in the face of challenges.
  • Environment – Children need safe, stable, and equitable school and community environments. They need to have emotional security, their basic needs met, and safe places to play and interact with other children.
  • Engagement – Children need opportunities for social engagement like community service, celebration of family cultural traditions, and opportunities to participate in organized activities like music, art, or sports.
  • Social Emotional Growth – Children need guidance to develop positive coping skills, emotional and behavioral self-regulation, and socially appropriate communication and interpersonal skills.

Look for the pinwheel gardens at CHKD sites this April as they highlight the prevention of child abuse and neglect and foster a sense of HOPE for all children and families.

Join us in May for this free youth-inspired presentation:

Focus on HOPE: Youth as Inspiration
Thursday, May 2, 5 - 6:15 p.m.
Chrysler Museum Auditorium, Norfolk, VA

Join area teens, youth leaders, educators, and members of the Hampton Roads Trauma Informed Community Network (HRTICN) to celebrate Virginia’s statewide resilience initiative and learn about an evidence-based framework for promoting HOPE. Hear from youth regarding their own experiences with trials and triumphs in navigating our uncertain world. The event will include a short lecture on the HOPE template developed by the HOPE National Resource Center at Tufts University, a viewing of photos taken by teens to represent their day-to-day experiences, spoken word poetry, and interactive activities. Join the conversation and learn how together we can promote hope, and support the positive contributions that youth make in our communities and schools.

About Michele Tryon, CCLS

About Michele  Tryon, CCLS Michele Tryon, CHKD community outreach coordinator and parent educator has worked with children and families for 30 years, providing services in the hospital, home, school and community setting. Michele is a Certified Child Life Specialist, a Certified Positive Discipline™ parent educator, a nationally recognized trainer/consultant for Nurturing Parenting Programs™ and co-author of The Nurturing Program for Parents and Their Children with Special Needs and Health Challenges©.