State's commitment to child abuse prevention highlighted at rally

About 600 blue and silver pinwheels adorned a garden near the State Capitol on April 25 as a symbol of Michigan’s commitment to prevent child abuse and neglect.

With the theme “The Power of One,” the 10th annual Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Day rally at the State Capitol brought together the prevention community to draw attention to the 37,970 Michigan children who were confirmed to have been abused or neglected in 2017. Gov. Snyder has proclaimed April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.

“Through the strength of one action, one dollar, one person, one organization and, yes, one rally, we can make a positive difference in preventing child abuse and neglect in Michigan,” said Michael Foley, executive director of the Children’s Trust Fund, which organized the event. Part of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, CTF promotes child abuse prevention efforts and provides funding to effective local prevention programs.

Other speakers included MDHHS Director Nick Lyon, Lansing Mayor Andy Schor, Sen. Margaret O’Brien, Rep. Erika Geiss, Bishop Reginald Bluestein, and Michelle Schulte, project director, Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan.

The rally also addressed the importance of infant safe sleep. Bluestein discussed the efforts of his organization, Concerned About Reaching Everyone (CARE), to educate about safe sleep, and read a letter from Michigan’s First Lady Sue Snyder, who has helped spread the word. Caregivers should place baby on his or her back for every sleep time in a crib, bassinet or portable play yard.

Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Day sponsors included Grand Traverse Pie Company, Lansing Area Exchange Club, Lansing Central United Methodist Church, Michigan Department of Education, Cottage Inn Pizza, and others.

The Children’s Trust Fund was established by the Michigan Legislature through Public Acts 249 and 250 of 1982. It serves as a voice for Michigan’s children and families and promotes their health, safety and welfare by funding effective local programs and services that prevent child abuse and neglect.

On May 16 the Children’s Trust Fund will hold its annual auction event at the Breslin Center at Michigan State University to raise money to support child abuse prevention programming.

For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/ctf.

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