STATEMENT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: BEN TANZER
(W): 312-663-3520 X823
(C): 312-806-4066

A Healthy Future For All

CHICAGO, IL, December 31, 2013 – The playing field in our country just got a bit more level for access to mental health services. The new budget deal that recently passed Congress will have $100 million earmarked specifically towards expanding the use of innovative tools and effective practices to increase access to mental health services.

According to the National Institute for Mental Health, there are approximately 57 million people in America today who are suffering with mental health issues that impact their ability to be successful in school or on the job. These struggles aren’t just felt by the person experiencing it though; mental health issues affect family life greatly and can also affect the way that people interact with their children. This in turn can undermine the learning process and healthy child development in enormous ways.

In this way, we see how mental health issues affect not only the person suffering from them, but their family and community as well. And in this way, we see how this budget deal and the commitment to improving access to mental health treatment will make a difference in the lives of countless people nationwide.

According to the NIMH, the average cost of mental health services per person is $1,591. Numbers like that illustrate that this current deal can begin to help 63,000 Americans. This is a good start and a tremendous step in the right direction, and we look forward to unique and innovative ways in the community and corporate sectors as well as the government sector to take care of the other 57 million people who need help too. Government cannot be the sole supporter of essential services like mental health care.

Still, we’re pleased that someone suffering with anything ranging from substance abuse to schizophrenia will be able to get the help they need. We’re even more pleased about the healthy future that will come of it.

“We applaud the Administration for taking this important step towards the goal of raising the healthiest children and families possible and the congressional approval of the budget,” said Jim Hmurovich, President & CEO of Prevent Child Abuse America. “Mental health is a critically important issue facing all people in this country, but one that has special impact for children and families. We know, for example, that the National Alliance on Mental Illness estimates that lost productivity due to mental health issues costs the nation $63 billion per year. This initiative will help redirect that lost cost into our communities which will help them thrive, and with healthier communities, there will be healthier children, and a better future for the nation.”

 

 

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Great Childhoods. Great Logo.

 

We're proud to unveil our new logo bearing the pinwheel!


As we kick-off Child Abuse Prevention Month today, we are proud to unveil our new logo and that of our 50 state chapters featuring the pinwheel!  

Since the launch of the Pinwheels for Prevention® campaign in April 2008, when the pinwheel was first introduced as the national child abuse prevention symbol, it has come to stand for the great childhoods all children deserve because our children are our future.  

And yet as much as the pinwheel moves us, it cannot move on its own. Be the force that moves the pinwheel and help bring about real change for children this April by:

- Volunteering at your local chapter,

- Creating a fundraising page for the Day of Giving on April 7,

- Planting your own Pinwheel Garden, or

- Giving today to support great childhoods for all children

Join us this April and you can help make Child Abuse Prevention Month a great success!

IL First Lady Diana Rauner and Ald. Mary O'Connor team with Prevent Child Abuse America to Mark April as Child Abuse Prevention Month


IL First Lady Diana Rauner and Ald. Mary O'Connor team with Prevent Child Abuse America to Mark April as Child Abuse Prevention Month

First Lady Rauner, 41st Ward Alderman Mary O’Connor, Prevent Child Abuse America and its Illinois chapter will open Child Abuse Prevention Month with “Pinwheel Garden” at two Northwest side schools

CHICAGO, IL, MARCH 27, 2015 – Illinois First Lady Diana Rauner and 41st Ward Alderman Mary O’Connor are teaming with Prevent Child Abuse America and its Illinois chapter on Tuesday, April 1, at the Wildwood and St. Mary of the Woods Elementary Schools to call the city, state and nation to act in support of providing great childhoods for all children because our children are our future.

The Chicago “Big Pinwheel Garden” kicks-off a month-long series of events for Prevent Child Abuse America and its 50 state chapters nationwide to mark April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.  At the center of these activities will be the pinwheel, the national symbol for child abuse prevention, first unveiled by Prevent Child Abuse America through its national Pinwheels for Prevention® campaign in April 2008. In fact, with these events on April 1st, Prevent Child Abuse America and its chapters will be unveiling a new organizational logo featuring the pinwheel. 

Additional Chicago area efforts to look for in April will include:

- Pinwheel gardens on display at many of the other 21 schools in the 41st ward
- Pinwheel gardens at 2 N. Riverside Plaza, Illinois Center and 600 W. Chicago where passers-by can take pinwheels and submit photos or videos with them using the hashtag #greatchildhoods
- The message “#Great Childhoods!” in window lights on the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois building at 300 E. Randolph from April 10 to 12

“The importance of investing in early child development and preventing child maltreatment cannot be underestimated,” said Diana Rauner, the First Lady of Illinois and the president of the Ounce of Prevention Fund. “I’m joining Prevent Child Abuse America and its Illinois chapter today to pledge continued support for emphasizing the importance of healthy starts for all children, and I encourage everyone in the city and state to pledge the same this April.”

Because of the correlation between parental stress and isolation and child maltreatment, Prevent Child Abuse America advocates simple, everyday actions that help reduce stress and isolation and therefore reduce child maltreatment. Some activities that people can do during Child Abuse Prevention Month include:

- Offer to babysit or cook for a friend or relative who is feeling the stress of work and child rearing  so that the parent can have the chance to rest and recharge
- Volunteer at pre- and after-school programs so that kids have a nurturing and  educational environment where parents can safely leave their children while at work
- Donate to programs that provide services to children and families
- Learn more about programs such as home visiting, which enhance early child development, and advocate for their availability in your neighborhood.

"Simple actions can make a difference, and I am proud to be joining First Lady Rauner and Prevent Child Abuse America in doing what I can to make a difference during April," said Alderman O'Connor. "Let's all work together to play a role in the prevention of abuse and neglect and working to make great childhoods a reality for all children in Chicago and nationwide."

“As we continue our work to make an impact on the lives of children and families, we hope that others grow to recognize and celebrate the pinwheel in the same way that we do today,” said Jim Hmurovich, President and & CEO of Prevent Child Abuse America. “At the same time, it is important to remember, while the pinwheel symbolizes the great childhoods we want for all children, it cannot move by itself.  We need people to be the force that moves the pinwheel to bring about real change for children in the United States.”

Prevent Child Abuse America, founded in 1972 in Chicago, works to ensure great childhoods for all children because our children are our future. The organization promotes that vision through a network of chapters in 50 states and more than 625 Healthy Families America home visitation sites in 39 states, the U.S. Territories, Puerto Rico and Canada, serving over 85,000 families annually. A major organizational focus is to advocate for the existence of a national policy framework and strategy for children and families while promoting evidence-based practices that prevent abuse and neglect from ever occurring. To learn more about what we’re doing to prevent child abuse and neglect and how you can help, please visit our websites at www.preventchildabuse.org or www.healthyfamiliesamerica.org. 

 

 

Child Advocates Descend on DC in Defense of Home Visiting and Abuse Prevention

 

Child Advocates Descend on DC in Defense of Home Visiting and Abuse Prevention

Representatives from Prevent Child Abuse America’s 50 state network are in Washington to advocate for two laws that are critical to the healthy development of children and families.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Advocates from every state in the Prevent Child Abuse America 50 state chapter network are in the nation’s capital today, advocating for key pieces of legislation that are proven to improve the lives of children and families nationwide.

Prevent Child Abuse Executive Directors and advocates from around the nation are calling for the reauthorization of the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program and for the Child Abuse and Prevention Treatment Act (CAPTA) to be fully funded.

MIECHV supports evidence-based home visiting initiatives that provide the support, experience and knowledge critical to success during pregnancy and through the first few years of a child’s life. Among the programs supported by MIECHV is Healthy Families America (HFA), Prevent Child Abuse America’s signature prevention program, that provides more than 86,000 families annually with services that are proven to increase the knowledge and skill of parents, improve the early learning abilities of children, reduce incidences of child maltreatment, and improve overall family self-sufficiency.

Currently, MIECHV is set to expire at the end of March. If Congress fails to reauthorize MIECHV, tens of thousands of families across the country would lose access to home visiting services like HFA, and thousands of family support workers would find their jobs in jeopardy.

CAPTA is a historic law that dates to 1974 and is one of the major ways that the federal government funds state programs that prevent and reduce child abuse and neglect. In fiscal year 2015, CAPTA state grants were funded at a level of $26 million, a number so low that resulted in some states receiving less than $100,000 to cover the costs associated with child protection, reporting, and investigation of claims.

Calling this level of funding “beyond inadequate,” advocates from Prevent Child Abuse America are requesting that Congress fund CAPTA state grants at a minimum level of $30 million.

“MIECHV and CAPTA are two of the major ways that the federal government help ensure that families and children have access to the programs and services that help them thrive,” said James M. Hmurovich, President and CEO of Prevent Child Abuse America. “These programs desperately need to be reauthorized and fully funded so that we can not only reduce incidences of child abuse and neglect, but move our country closer to the ideal in which no child is ever abused or neglected and every family is equipped to give their children the best lives possible.”

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