SPINNING IN THE WIND
Pinwheels catch the eye during National Child Abuse Prevention Month
EAST NORRITON » This April, Mission Kids Child Advocacy Center has “planted” pinwheels at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s King of Prussia Campus to recognize National Child Abuse Prevention Month and to draw attention to the work that Mission Kids’ staff and partner agencies do every day to support child victims of abuse and their families in Montgomery County.
A symbol of childhood, the pinwheel represents what every child should have — the chance to laugh and play, without the fear of physical or sexual abuse.
By displaying pinwheels, Mission Kids joins with more than 40 local Children’s Advocacy Centers across the state to draw attention to the importance of providing children with safe, healthy environments. The pinwheels also
send the message that children who have experienced abuse can still experience the joy of childhood; with the intervention and support that Children’s Advocacy Centers provide, child victims can heal from trauma.
In 2021, Mission Kids served
1,026 suspected victims of child abuse and their families by providing a collaborative team response to cases involving suspected abuse. Bringing together law enforcement, child protective services, medical professionals, and trauma therapists, Mission
Kids intervenes to stop abuse and ensure that victims and caregivers are connected to the support and resources they need to begin the healing process.
“Every one of those pinwheels represents a real child,” Leslie Slingsby, executive director of Mission Kids stated. “The need for awareness is more important than ever. Ten to 20 percent of children will experience child sexual abuse before their 18th birthday. Ninety percent of the time, children experience abuse at the hands of someone they know and often someone their families trust.
Over the past two years, children were isolated at home due to the pandemic, which meant that they didn’t have regular contact with mandated reporters — people like teachers, coaches, and counselors, who could be that child’s lifeline. The pinwheels spinning joyfully and free are the perfect images of what a child’s life should be. Mission Kids will bring attention to the number of children we serve using the ultimate childhood symbol of the pin
Anyone with a concern about a child’s safety should call Pennsylvania’s ChildLine at 1-800- 932-0313 to make a confidential report.
About Mission Kids Child Advocacy Center
Mission Kids Child Advocacy Center was established in 2008 to develop and oversee a coordinated, multidisciplinary and comprehensive response to reports of suspected child sexual and physical abuse. It coordinates a team response to child abuse allegations with the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office, the Montgomery County Office of Children and Youth, the 50 police departments in Montgomery County and the Pennsylvania State Police. By bringing the agents of major institutions that play a role in the response process together in one child-friendly, developmentally appropriate, respectful and safe environment, the Center strives to limit victim trauma. Mission Kids Child Advocacy Center of Montgomery County is a nationally accredited, 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization and is supported by funding from generous public and private organizations and individuals. www.MissionKidsCAC.org