As people are planting flowers, there is another type of garden that is growing across America- the blue pinwheel garden. This garden is needed because children should be as free as the wind blowing through the pinwheels, but a growing population of youth are dealing with abuse and neglect, which can take all the wind out of their childhood.
According to the Department of Human Services, there is some information found in 2020 that is positive:
92% of children in OKDHS custody are placed with families.
Children are more likely to be able to safely remain in their own homes when their families get the services they need.
Children first entering foster care are more likely to be placed with a family rather than in an emergency shelter.
Children entering foster care are more likely to be placed with their own families or with someone they know.
Children are less likely to experience multiple moves while in care.
Children are less likely to age-out of foster care without legal permanency such as adoption or guardianship.
After reunification with their families, children are less likely to re-enter foster care.
Crossroads Youth & Family aims to help all roads lead to home through our services. These services include counseling for youth and their families.
If you know someone on the receiving end of abuse and neglect, Oklahoma Human Services created a hotline for assistance by calling 1-800-522-3511. If it is an emergency, call 911. You can also submit a form digitally here.
Other Ways to Help and get Involved
• Take the CAP Super Challenge: Complete five tasks to become a super advocate against child abuse
• Wear Blue Selfie Day: Thursday, April 1 is designated as the day to wear blue to support child abuse prevention efforts in communities. Share your best selfie on social media using #OKWearsBlue and ask family and friends to join.
• Build a Blue Ribbon Tree for Kids: Decorate a tree or trees in your community with blue ribbons to bring awareness to child abuse prevention.
• Happiest Day Coloring Challenge: Children are encouraged to draw/color their “happiest day.” Children may work individually, in a group, with family or as a class. Parents and teachers are encouraged to share these pictures on social media using #PictureABrighterFuture
• Spread the word about parentPRO, a free parenting support program connecting families to trained professionals who teach parenting and child development skills, as well as ways to reduce stress and nurture children. Learn more at parentpro.org.
• Plant a “Pinwheels for Prevention Garden”: Support Prevent Child Abuse Oklahoma with a pinwheel garden by calling Parent Promise at (405) 232-2500.