Cases of confirmed child abuse and neglect are down from 127 a year ago, to 91. That’s a good thing, of course, but there’s still much work to do.
In an effort to keep the issue in the forefront for area residents, the Exchange Club Family Resource Center is placing pinwheels in front of the Dempsey Building at the northeast corner of Turner McCall Blvd. and Broad Street this morning at 11 a.m.
“We do this every year to remind everyone about the importance of preventing child abuse,” said Tina Bartleson, Family Resource Center executive director. “One pinwheel represents one confirmed case of abuse and neglect.”
The awareness created by the pinwheels is a two-fold reminder. Beside reminding those not directly affected by child abuse that there are ways they can help, the pinwheels are also intended to reduce the stigma surrounding reaching out for help for families where abuse or conditions for abuse exist.
“It is important that families, when they are feeling overwhelmed, have the ability to reach out to other people and ask for help,” said Bartleson.
She says Floyd County is blessed with many agencies where assistance can be sought and credits the collaboration of these agencies and their employees and volunteers for helping bring last year’s local abuse statistics down.
“Families are reaching out for help,” said Bartleson. “The community is surrounding families with services and support and helping parents and caregivers through these issues.”
The pinwheels themselves, while meant to remind the community of a negative occurrence, also symbolize the positive possibilities of a happy and healthy childhood, according to Bartleson.
Members of the community are invited to attend the pinwheel placement and are even encouraged to assist with putting them in the ground if they wish. Parking is available behind the Dempsey Building.
To find out more about the significance behind the pinwheels, visit PCAGeorgia.org online for more information. Anyone interested in more information about local cases of abuse and neglect and how they might help can call the Family Resource Center at 706-290-0764.
More information about other collaborative agencies and events in Rome and Floyd County that serve children and youth issues can be found online at floyd.gafcp.org/collaborative-partners.