DCF Recognizes Child Abuse Prevention Month

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News Release: Department of Children and Families

TALLAHASSEE— The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF), in collaboration with Prevent Child Abuse Florida and the Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida, join in recognition of National Child Abuse Prevention Month this month. Statewide promotions and events will engage Floridians in efforts to prevent abuse and neglect by promoting awareness, positive parenting practices and development of support systems within their communities.

“DCF encourages not only parents but all members of Florida’s communities to take action to support the development and protection of children,” Interim Secretary Esther Jacobo said. “Together we can raise awareness and give a voice to vulnerable children in our state.”

DCF and the Ounce of Prevention will kick off the month with Pinwheels in the Park on Saturday, April 5, from 9 a.m. until noon at E. Peck Greene Park in Downtown Tallahassee. This family-friendly event will feature entertainment and free resources for parents and caregivers to promote positive parenting, healthy child growth and development and services available to families in the community.

Governor Rick Scott signed a proclamation naming April 2014 as Child Abuse Prevention Month and urges Floridians to participate and help strengthen families and communities. First Lady Ann Scott will attend the kick off in Tallahassee and participate in a Scholastic story time event.

“I am proud to participate in Pinwheels for Prevention for the fourth
consecutive year,” First Lady Ann Scott said. “Children are our state's
greatest asset, and I am looking forward to sharing my passion for reading with Florida's children this weekend.”

Florida’s Pinwheels for Prevention campaign is part of a national movement to change the way we think about child abuse prevention by focusing on healthy child development.

"The campaign symbol, a blue and silver pinwheel, is a reminder of the happy childhoods and bright futures that all children deserve, as well as the important role we each play in ensuring every child has an equal opportunity for healthy growth and development," Anita Odom, Director of the Prevention Services Unit at the Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida and Executive Director of PCA Florida said.

Stimulating and nurturing environments improve a child’s cognitive,
psychological, behavioral and physical well being, while neglectful or
abusive experiences depress mental and physical growth, as indicated by the Child Welfare Information Gateway’s 2012 Research Guide. This data also provides evidence that parents and caregivers who have supportive social networks are better equipped to provide safe and nurturing environments for their children.

For more information on events happening throughout the state visit:

If you suspect that a child is being abused or neglected, report online at
www.FloridaAbuseHotline.org or call 1-800-962-2873.

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