FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Chicago, Illinois, April 21, 2011 – Prevent Child Abuse America announced today that Wichita, Kansas, has been named a Pinwheel City USA. To receive this designation, a city or town of any size in the U.S. must apply for and meet the high standards of this award program, demonstrating its commitment to and support of healthy child development and child abuse and neglect prevention. Pinwheel City USA is an extension of Prevent Child Abuse America’s national Pinwheels for Prevention® campaign, introducing the pinwheel as the symbol for child abuse and neglect prevention in the U.S.
Wichita’s commitment to healthy child development and child abuse prevention is resulting in tangible positive outcomes for the children and families who call it home. Of particular note to application reviewers were the involvement of the mayor, the Wichita Police Department, the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services, the Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust fund, more than 60 local community organizations and Wichita State University, whose collaborative efforts have contributed to decreases in child abuse-related fatalities in Wichita from eight in 2008 to one in 2010.
“For our nation to think about child abuse and neglect prevention in a new way, communities and neighborhoods of all sizes across the country must realize that everyone has a role to play in increasing healthy outcomes for children and reducing child maltreatment,” said James M. Hmurovich, President & CEO of Prevent Child Abuse America. “Wichita served as a strong example of this and we are proud to honor them in this way.”
In response to a high number of child deaths in 2008, the Wichita Child Abuse Fatalities Community Response Team was formed and began working alongside the Visioneering Wichita Birth-K Alliance. Since that time, several new prevention initiatives have been implemented, including The Period of PURPLE Crying®, a Shaken Baby Syndrome prevention program through the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome. The program is now being provided to parents of 41,000 of the 42,000 live births each year in Kansas, including births at the two birthing hospitals in Wichita – Via Christi and Wesley Medical Center. Working together, the team has also created a Strengthening Families Resource Map for parents and providers.
“As the Kansas chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America, Prevent Child Abuse Kansas and the Kansas Children's Service League are honored to be coordinating the efforts of the Wichita Child Abuse Fatalities Community Response Team and honored to be a part of this important occasion. I am impressed, but not the least bit surprised that, Wichita has received this significant designation. This is a city that cares not just about children, but their families and the communities they live in,” said Vicky Roper, Director of Prevent Child Abuse Kansas.
ABOUT PREVENT CHILD ABUSE AMERICA
Prevent Child Abuse America, founded in 1972, works to ensure the healthy development of children nationwide while recognizing that child development is a building block for community development and economic development. We believe that communities across the country are doing innovative things with great results to prevent abuse and neglect from ever occurring, and what we need to do as a nation is commit to bringing this kind of ingenuity to communities everywhere. Based in Chicago, Prevent Child Abuse America has chapters in 47 states and nearly 400 Healthy Families America sites in 34 states.
ABOUT PINWHEELS FOR PREVENTION
Pinwheels for Prevention® is a campaign introducing the pinwheel as a symbol for child abuse and neglect prevention nationwide. Through this effort, Prevent Child Abuse America is changing the way our nation thinks about prevention, focusing on community activities and public policies that prioritize healthy child development and child abuse prevention right from the start to make sure abuse and neglect never occur. For more information, please visit Pinwheels for Prevention.
ABOUT THE KANSAS CHILDREN’S SERVICE LEAGUE (KCSL)
KCSL is a statewide not-for-profit agency with a mission to protect and promote the well-being of children. Founded in 1893, KCSL provides a variety of child abuse and community based prevention programs including Healthy Families, Parent Education, the statewide Parent Helpline (1-800-CHILDREN) and the Community Resource Library. KCSL is the Kansas chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America.