TOPEKA – Governor Sam Brownback and Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) Secretary Phyllis Gilmore took part in an event today, to highlight the importance of child abuse prevention. The event included a Planting of Pinwheels ceremony in front of the Kansas State Capitol Building.
“We’re so glad the State of Kansas is recognizing child abuse prevention,” Secretary Gilmore said. “The Department for Children and Families is dedicated to keeping kids safe, through both prevention and investigation.”
Governor Brownback signed a proclamation two weeks ago designating April as Child Abuse Prevention Month in Kansas. It is a time to acknowledge the children who have suffered from abuse.
“In Kansas, children are our most cherished resource,” Governor Brownback said. “We simply can’t afford to ignore child abuse in our homes, in our neighborhoods, in our schools and in our state.”
During today’s event, Topeka-area children planted pinwheels in the garden at the south steps of the Kansas State Capitol Building.
The Pinwheels for Prevention campaign is an effort to change the way our nation thinks about prevention and how we can deliver on our commitment to Kansas children. The pinwheel serves as a symbol for the prevention of child abuse and neglect. It is an uplifting reminder of childhood and the bright futures all children deserve.
As part of this annual campaign, Kansans are encouraged to take part in Wear Blue Day on April 19. It’s another opportunity to make sure abuse doesn’t pass unnoticed.
Nationwide, more than 3.5 million cases of suspected child abuse or neglect are reported to state and local child protective services agencies annually. During this past fiscal year, there were more than 64,000 reports of child abuse in the state of Kansas. From July 2012 to January of this year, DCF identified more than 1,100 substantiated victims.
DCF investigations into these cases include abandonment, emotional abuse, lack of supervision, medical neglect, physical abuse, physical neglect and sex abuse.
Some indicators of child abuse include:
- Sudden changes in a child’s behavior or school performance
- A child with untreated medical problems
- A child who is overly compliant, passive or withdrawn
Report suspected cases of child abuse by calling 1-800-922-5330.