DCF Press Release

State of Florida
Department of Children and Families
Charlie Crist

Robert A. Butterworth

April 1, 2008 850-921-4494

It’s Your Turn – Raise the Leaders of Tomorrow!

Tallahassee- Area businesses, organizations and individuals are taking part in Prevent Child Abuse Florida’s fifth annual Winds of Change campaign by planting pinwheel gardens, distributing information on positive parenting and community service, and encouraging their neighbors and family members to call 1-800-FLA-LOVE for free, confidential, parent support.

Winds of Change is a statewide campaign to prevent child abuse and neglect by educating Floridians about healthy child development. This year’s theme, It’s Your Turn, focuses on the importance of individuals becoming actively involved in strengthening families in their communities.

“Every Floridian can play a role in ensuring our children live in healthy, safe and nurturing environments. Strong families and safe neighborhoods are rooted in partnerships that put children first,” said Florida’s Chief Child Advocate Jim Kallinger.

Prevention priorities have historically lagged behind abuse response measures such as intervention and prosecution, but the “winds of change” have clearly begun to blow. A study released in January by Prevent Child Abuse America and the Pew Charitable Trusts documents the pervasive and enduring effects of child abuse and neglect on children, their families and society as a whole. The study calculated the total economic impact of child abuse and neglect at $103.8 billion for 2007 alone.

"Allowing abuse prevention to languish behind other priorities is an injustice to the victims of abuse, but it is also a national economic disaster," said PCA America President and CEO Jim Hmurovich. "Priorities such as intervention and prosecution are important elements in protecting our children, but it is clear that more and more Americans are taking a stand for the early and comprehensive prevention of abuse, not just responding to it after it occurs,” he added.

Experts agree that when parents have support from family, friends and neighbors and access to community resources that strengthen families, they are better able to provide safe and stable homes for their children. By volunteering, supporting or donating to programs for children and families in this community, you can help parents excel at the most difficult job in the world.

"This initiative is about making our communities rich with the resources families deserve, because it’s not a matter of if parents will need help, but when,” said Department of Children and Families Secretary Bob Butterworth. “Parents deserve supports that will meet their needs and we should not hesitate to help them overcome the many challenges of raising children in today’s society.”

For information on resources for parents in your community, call the Florida Parent Helpline at 1-800-FLA-LOVE. Volunteers are waiting to assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All calls are confidential. For information on how you can take action to strengthen your community and support children and families, visit www.ounce.org.


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