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Pinwheels return for Child Abuse Prevention Month

April 12, 2022

April display calls attention to the importance of prevention & intervention programs in the hopes that all children can enjoy a safe and happy childhood.

Pictured: Willow Tree staff members Megan Hackl, Kristie Sickel, Becca Wilbershide, and Jodi Stahl planted roughly 115 pinwheels in honor of the children served at the center so far in 2022.

(Green Bay, Wis.) – Family Services of Northeast Wisconsin installed its annual “Pinwheels for Prevention” display in April for Child Abuse Prevention Month. The display serves as a reminder of the critical importance of making our communities a better, safer place for children.

The pinwheel is a national symbol of Child Abuse Prevention. It represents the joys of childhood and promotes the awareness that all children deserve to be safe and well. Approximately 115 pinwheels are displayed outside Willow Tree Cornerstone Child Advocacy Center, 503 S. Monroe Ave., in Green Bay – each representing a child helped at Willow Tree so far in 2022 due to allegations of sexual or physical abuse, neglect or other maltreatment.

“Each child who comes to Willow Tree is unique and different in their own special way,’’ said Kristie Sickel, Willow Tree program supervisor and child forensic interviewer. “Willow Tree Cornerstone Child Advocacy Center strives to Protect, Heal and Care for every child who comes through our doors, as they move towards a better tomorrow.”

In a typical year, roughly 5,000 suspected cases of child abuse are reported in Brown County alone. Family Services say the first step to preventing child abuse and neglect is by making sure that parents and caregivers have the resources and support they need to safely care for their children.

“The Welcome Baby Program is a program of prevention,” said Julie Ferral, manager of the Healthy Families Program and Welcome Baby Program at Family Services. “All parents receive a Welcome Baby visit either prenatally or at the hospital at the time of their child’s birth with information about community resources, which include home visitation programs that can support them in their parenting journey.”

Ferral says the agency is always looking for additional partners in the community to help connect them with new and expectant parents. For more information about partnering with Family Services on child abuse prevention through its children and families programs, please contact Julie Ferral at jferral@familyservicesnew.org. For information about Prevention Education that is geared toward children and parents, contact Becca Wilbershide at bwilbershide@willowtreecac.org.