SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii (April 3, 2015) -- April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month (CAPM).
In order to bring attention to the national child abuse epidemic and challenge members of our own community to do their part to prevent child abuse, leaders, here, and community members came together Wednesday at the annual Child Abuse Prevention Month proclamation-signing and Pinwheels for Prevention parade.
Approximately 200 children participated in the pinwheel parade following the proclamation signing.
-- FAP, Army initiative
The Family Advocacy Program (FAP), a part of Army Community Service and the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, hosted the event that served as the official kickoff to CAPM at the Schofield Barracks Child Development Center on McMahon Road.
Garrison Commander Col. Richard A. Fromm signed the proclamation prior to the April 1 ceremony, declaring April as Child Abuse Prevention Month, emphasizing the CAPM campaign theme for 2015: "Children Deserve to be Protected. Know the Warning Signs. Help Stop Abuse Before it Happens."
Every Soldier, employee and member of the military community is expected to report information about known or suspected cases of spouse and child abuse to the Military Police, Directorate of Emergency Services, as soon as the information is received.
"Our Family Advocacy Program is committed to teaching our community about the common signs of abuse," said Fromm, "and what you can do to intervene, so you can directly impact a child's life."
Pinwheels serve as a reminder of the wonderful liveliness and spirit found in children, the spirit that everyone has a duty to protect and preserve.
-- The challenge of stopping abuse
Despite extensive and ongoing prevention efforts, child abuse and neglect continue to occur, thus undermining family readiness and Army core values.
Cindy Morita, FAP manager, said she encourages Soldiers and their families to participate in the garrison's CAPM activities. Participation not only helps raise community awareness, but also encourages families to utilize support services that are designed to build strong, healthy families.
-- About FAP
During April and throughout the year, various workshops on parenting, relationships and healthy living are offered through the Family Advocacy Program. Some provide access to free child care.
FAP is dedicated to the prevention, education, prompt reporting, investigation, intervention and treatment of spouse and child abuse. The program provides a variety of services to Soldiers and families to enhance their relationship skills and improve their quality of life.
One key prevention program, the New Parent Support Program (NPSP), offers convenient home-visits to provide education, support and resources to Army families expecting a new child or with a child under 3.
Designed to promote healthy, caring relationships between parents and their children, the program utilizes the most modern parenting techniques and tailors them specifically to the unique challenges faced by Army families.
This mission is accomplished through a variety of groups, seminars, workshops and counseling and intervention services.
-- CAPM events
Community events and activities continue throughout April. Blue pinwheels will be displayed in various locations or planted in "pinwheel gardens" at all Army installations and communities island-wide.
FAP, ACS and other agencies, invite members of the Army community to the following events:
•April 15, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Family Story Time, Sgt. Yano Library, Schofield Barracks. It's in partnership with the parenting resource "Parents and Children Together" (PACT), a leading private, nonprofit resource created to promote healthy families.
•April 25, Teddy Bear Drive and Resource Fair at Windward Mall, sponsored by Prevent Child Abuse Hawaii, 41-056 Kamehameha Hwy. in Kaneohe.
•Throughout the month of April, outreach tables featuring educational material will be stationed at various locations (including at the Earth Day Celebration at Kalakaua Community Center on April 22).
•Pinwheel gardens will be planted at Army Community Service, Schofield Barracks, as well as at all Army child development centers across the island.