by Eden Laikin
Mineola, NY – Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano yesterday joined officials from Children’s Protective Services and Girl Scout Troop 3289, to decorate the steps of the Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building in Mineola with pinwheels in recognition of April as Child Abuse Prevention Month. Pinwheels have become a national symbol intended to raise public awareness of child abuse and neglect.
Child abuse and neglect happens at every socio-economic level, across all ethnicities and religions and levels of education. Many child welfare experts agree that stressors including the economic downturn accounts for the increased number of child abuse and neglect investigations. In 2012, Nassau County’s Child Protective Services received 6,628 reports of suspected child abuse and neglect. In 2013, CPS received 6,999 reports, an increase of 5.5 percent.
“We have an obligation to ensure that children are protected and safe,” County Executive Mangano said. “Getting the word out that services are available to children and families who are having difficulty coping can help end child abuse and neglect.”
Jeanette Feingold, Director of Child Protective Services, said having young people spread this message is very powerful. “We are delighted that Girl Scout Troop 3289 is joining our efforts to declare that violence towards children is not acceptable.
“County Executive Mangano is committed to eradicating violence in Nassau County,” emphasized Social Services Commissioner John E. Imhof. “Violence is not the answer is the message we want to get out to all our communities. The pinwheels are a reminder that youth should be able to grow up happy, without fear of abuse or neglect.”
If you know a child who may be abused or neglected, you can call the New York State Central Registry toll free at 1-800-342-3720. Calls made by non-mandated reporters can be anonymous. In situations of imminent danger, dial 911.