The Riverside Board of Supervisors on Tuesday proclaimed April as National Child Abuse Awareness month as public and private family advocates launched a month of activities aimed at preventing child abuse and neglect.
During the county board meeting, leaders from the Department of Public Social Services (DPSS), First 5 Riverside County, and Hope Collaborative spoke about the power of partnership and the vital role integration plays in helping victims of child abuse. Partners work with law enforcement and private and faith-based organization to provide wrap-around services that promote healing.
County departments and community partners hosted an awareness event in downtown Riverside on Tuesday. The activities are part of the Pinwheels for Prevention campaign, a national initiative to educate community members, support families, and raise funds to prevent child abuse and neglect.
Riverside County caseworkers responded to about 25,000 reports of child abuse and neglect last year. The Pinwheels for Prevention campaign supports efforts to care for children and families who have experienced abuse and neglect in Riverside County and includes the Riverside County Child Assessment Center (RCCAT) at Riverside University Health System (RUHS) Medical Center.
The Center provides trauma-informed care to about 1,400 children in crisis in the nation’s tenth most-populous county. “Often, these children carry guilt and shame because of sexual abuse. In many cases, they’ve suffered at the hands of the person who was supposed to love and protect them the most,” RCCAT Medical Director Dr. Sophia Grant said. “We’re helping to end trauma and begin healing for our most vulnerable children.”
County partners are encouraging families and local organizations to display pinwheels to show support for child abuse prevention. The pinwheels represent innocence and the bright future all children deserve. Advocates also encourage community members to promote positive parenting classes and share the warning signs of child abuse and neglect.
Pinwheels for Prevention events are scheduled throughout April, including a public event on Tuesday, April 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at RUHS Medical Center, 26520 Cactus Ave, Moreno Valley.
If you suspect a child is suffering abuse or neglect in Riverside County, call the 24-hour child abuse hotline at 1-800-442-4918.
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