For the sixth year in a row, Steuben County is fighting back against child abuse through ‘Pinwheels and Promises.’
The campaign, sponsored by Prevent Child Abuse Steuben, hosted multiple agencies in the county office building Wednesday morning that are dedicated to child abuse prevention.
One effort underway is looking to prevent the sexual exploitation of children by getting parents to have an open dialogue with their kids.
“Our trainings actually will help parents learn how to talk to their child about their bodies, learn how to talk to them about sexual abuse prevention,” Tawyna Hughes, a family development home visitor with ProAction, said. “It also helps schools, youth serving organizations [to] come up with policies and plans that will prevent child abuse.”
Starting that conversation between a parent and child at an early age, the agency believes, will help not only with prevention, but also revictimization.
The “pinwheels” part of the campaign represents the reminder that every child deserves a positive childhood and the “promises” aspect is something we can all do to support children and families.
The county’s department of social services says it receives between 1,500 to 2,000 child abuse reports annually with 25 percent having credible evidence.
“We have more and more drug-related cases that are coming through the doors and we are also seeing the effects on those kids.” Kathryn Muller, Steuben County’s social services commissioner, said.
The department works closely with families to provide wrap-around services to not only keep them intact but to also unify them if split apart.
WETM will have its own pinwheels and promises event on April 12 at 2:00 PM. It will take place at the Elmira station located at 101 E. Water Street.
This story originally reported that the pinwheels and promises event will take place at 11:00 AM, but it will begin at 2:00 PM.