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Home Visiting Blog

Apr 01 2016

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

By: Patricia McCollum, MS HFA – MIECHV Program Consultant

In 2008, Prevent Child Abuse America (PCAA) introduced the pinwheel as the new national symbol for child abuse prevention through Pinwheels for Prevention®. Research and experience has shown that people respond positively to the pinwheel. “By its very nature, the pinwheel connotes whimsy and childlike notions. In essence, it has come to serve as the physical embodiment, or reminder, of the great childhoods we want for all children.”

When we see Pinwheels this April, we can consider what we as individuals and communities can do to come together to help new families who might be at risk for child abuse and provide them with the resources they need to build a healthy family. Home visiting programs are one strategy that communities can use to effectively address child abuse prevention.

Research has shown that home visiting programs have many positive outcomes. Evaluative results further demonstrate positive outcomes in all six domains required by the federal Maternal Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program:

  • Child safety (reduced child abuse and neglect)
  • Child health, including increased birth weight
  • Parent-child interaction
  • School readiness and adjustment in 1st grade
  • Family self-sufficiency and,
  • Coordination of services and referrals


In Arkansas we are fortunate to have five different Home Visiting models funded through the federal Maternal and Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting grant to the Department of Health through the Arkansas Children’s Hospital; Parents as Teachers (PAT), Healthy Families America (HFA), Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP), Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) and Following Baby Back Home (FBBH). Each of these five program models has a somewhat different approach and different criteria for services. However, each of these programs is dedicated to providing information, support, and encouragement to families of young children that help build Stronger Families, Brighter Futures for Arkansans.

Not only in April, but every day, let us strive to make sure that every interaction with our own children and the children with whom we come in contact is positive and nurturing. We can volunteer in parenting programs and can consider becoming foster and adoptive families. We can provide financial support to programs that support families, and we can let our voices be heard on behalf of children everywhere. This April look for blue pinwheels in your community and support those organizations that invest in children and families.


For more information contact:

Lacye Vance, Healthy Families America MIECHV Arkansas State Lead

Email: vancelb@archildrens.org

Phone: (501) 364-3349 



Looking for a way to buy Pinwheels for your home, school or community center? Check out our Pinwheel Store from American Solutions for Business

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