Sunrise Children’s Services, Kentucky’s oldest provider of support services for abused and neglected children, joined other children’s support agencies from across the state at this year’s “Pinwheel Planting,” held March 31 in Frankfort. What began as a rainy, brooding day was quickly transformed by bright signs of hope for one of Kentucky’s most vulnerable populations. Thousands of silver and blue pinwheels were placed on the front lawn and around the state Capitol building, commemorating the work of Kentucky’s child advocacy organizations.
The Pinwheel Planting, which kicked off National Child Abuse Prevention Month, was a celebration of progress made in strengthening child abuse prevention measures in Kentucky, and an opportunity to focus public attention on an epidemic that impacts tens of thousands of children statewide, according to the Kentucky Department of Community Based Services (2015 statistics). Most importantly, the pinwheels symbolize hope and healing.
“There is something so poignant and powerful about this event,” said Dale Suttles, president of Sunrise Children’s Services. “It’s very moving, especially for
those of us who work with abused and neglected children each day, and a reminder of the intrinsic worth of every human being. It’s why the work we do is so important.”
The Pinwheel Planting and National Child Abuse Prevention Month serve as reminders that recognition and understanding are essential to helping prevent child abuse and neglect … and to reducing the number of pinwheels that appear on the statehouse lawn each year. Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear, who joined First Lady Glenna Bevin at the rally, reported that his office expects to prosecute significantly more child abuse cases this year than last, and noted that it’s everyone’s responsibility to report suspected child abuse.
Consequently, it is important to recognize the signs of abuse, which may be indicated if a child:
– Exhibits a sudden shift in behavior or starts doing poorly in school
– Experiences difficulty learning or concentrating which cannot be traced to physical or psychological reasons
– Appears to be excessively passive or withdrawn
– Does not want to go home after school or other activities
An abusive situation may also be present if a parent:
– Does not appear to be concerned about their child
– Treats the child as an unwanted burden or a “problem”
– Ignores problems the child may be having at school or home
– Issues demands the child cannot meet*
Sunrise Children’s Services offers Kentucky’s hurting children and families a continuum of Christ-centered care, including therapeutic, residential and foster care programs for abused,
abandoned and victimized children throughout the state. Sunrise’s nonprofit ministry began in 1869 — today, it is a fully licensed behavioral health service organization helping change the lives of children in crisis throughout the commonwealth. For more information or to learn how you can help, call 1.800.456.1386 or visit www.sunrise.org.