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Community comes together to plant pinwheel garden

Community members, Prince William County employees and county officials come together every spring to “plant” a pinwheel garden to remind people of the importance of the prevention of child abuse and neglect. April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and the blue pinwheel is used as a symbol to raise awareness about child abuse.

This year, about two dozen people gathered to place blue pinwheels in the ground in front of the McCoart Government Center to commemorate the month and bring attention to this important topic.

Vice Chair of the Board of County Supervisors, Jeanine Lawson, said it’s important for the community to come together to help prevent child abuse and neglect. “Pinwheels remind us of the importance of a healthy child development and have been established as the national symbol for child abuse prevention. They serve as a visual reminder that all children deserve an equal opportunity for a healthy, happy, carefree childhood. Recognizing Child Abuse Prevention Month reminds us all about the importance of working together to keep our children safe, protected and nurtured. They all depend on us.”

Theresa Wilson, the family services manager with the Prince William County Department of Social Services, said simple things might help prevent child abuse. “We … want to recognize that everyone can play a part in preventing child abuse and neglect. It could be as simple as helping out a stressed-out neighbor by babysitting or mentoring a young child or a new parent. We all can help prevent abuse and neglect.”

To report suspected child abuse, call the Prince William County Protective Services’ hotline at 703-792-4200 or the Virginia Department of Social Services Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 800-552-7096. Visit pwcgov.org/socialservices for more information.

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