Prevent Child Abuse America teams with actor Josh Charles to turn Times Square into Big Pinwheel Garden on April 8

NYC event headlines month-long series of activities nationwide calling people to action in support of healthy starts for kids throughout April's Child Abuse Prevention Month

APRIL 7, 2014 (NEW YORK, NY) – Prevent Child Abuse America and actor Josh Charles from the Emmy-nominated CBS show, The Good Wife, will turn New York City’s iconic Times Square into a "Big Pinwheel Garden" on Tuesday, April 8, at 9:00 a.m. ET with hundreds of supporters creating a display of more than 5,000 pinwheels – the national symbol for child abuse prevention. The event calls for people to take action in support of healthy child development as the nation marks April as Child Abuse Prevention Month. This will be the signature event of the Pinwheels for Prevention® campaign, through which Prevent Child Abuse America has distributed more than 3.5 million pinwheels nationwide since the campaign’s launch in April 2008.

“We all want healthy starts for our nation’s children; yet we know that various adversities like poverty, child abuse, domestic violence and substance abuse can sometimes get in the way,” said Charles. “But we can all play a role in taking the time to do what we can, to provide every child with the opportunity to have an even playing field as they start their lives. I’m a good example. I’m not a parent but hope to be in the future and very much want to see all children have the opportunity to lead full, productive lives.”

Charles will be joined at the event by Cristina Cuomo, Editor-in-Chief of Manhattan magazine, who will host the proceedings. Key organizational partners such as Manhattan magazine, Kappa Delta, Sigma Delta Tau and the General Federation of Women’s Clubs are lending support.

To support the campaign, the public can:

• Help a neighbor in need by offering to baby-sit or give parents a break
• Volunteer for your Prevent Child Abuse America state chapter or another child- or family- serving agency
• Donate at
• Donate $10 by texting PINWHEEL to 20222* (powered by

“According to UNICEF, the U.S. ranks poorly in children’s issues, including being 32nd out of 34 industrialized nations in terms of child poverty and 26th out of 29 in terms of overall well-being. Realities like these should serve as a wake-up call and that we can and must do better,” said Jim Hmurovich, President & CEO of Prevent Child Abuse America. “Pinwheel gardens are calls-to-action, some as simple as to provide the personal attention to families and children that each of us, from time to time, have needed ourselves. The pinwheels remind us that our nation does not have a national strategy to promote the healthy development of each child, regardless of their circumstances. This must change and our call to action must be to change our personal behavior, attitudes and social norms to value children; all children.”

In addition to the New York City event on Tuesday, April 8, the organization will host another Big Pinwheel Garden in Chicago on Wednesday, April 16, at Navy Pier, and Prevent Child Abuse America state chapters will conduct pinwheels-focused events throughout April, including a pinwheel garden event hosted by Nebraska’s First Lady in downtown Lincoln, NE; a “pinwheel garden” of 1,000 pinwheels in Indianapolis (each representing 87 healthy births for the 87,000 children born annually in Indiana); and pinwheel rallies at state capitals around the country.




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Call for Proposals for the 2016 National Conference for America's Children


Call for Proposals now open for Sessions at The 2016 National Conference for America's Children

Thank you for your interest in The National Conference for America's Children. Use this link to fill out our survey and submit your proposal. Please be sure to read the below introductory information on the types of sessions that we are seeking for our 2016 conference, taking place at the Hilton Netherland Plaza in Cincinnati, OH.

The goal of this conference is to bring together professionals who work across the social ecology to share information, network, and advance the field of child abuse and neglect prevention and the promotion of child and family well-being.

In order to achieve this goal, the conference planning team determined four focus areas on which the content of the conference will be based:

Focus Area One: Direct Service for Children and Families: This focus area will offer workshops on clinical-level prevention services. Possible topics include home visiting, parent education, infant mental health, fatherhood, prenatal engagement, effective prevention strategies and Circle of Parents/parent leadership.

Focus Area Two: Organizational Success: This focus area will offer workshops on the administrative side of prevention and child well-being. Possible topics include staff satisfaction/retention, managing small non-profits, fundraising, team building, self-care/avoiding burnout, accreditation, program evaluation, ethical and professional issues, building community collaborations and strategic planning.

Focus Area Three: Messaging, Communications and Technology: This focus area will offer workshops on how messaging can be used to move communities to action. Possible topics include the language of child abuse prevention, utilizing social media for messaging, apps for families and children, media training, changing social norms and moving communities to social action.

Focus Area Four: Innovations in Prevention- Community and Policy Strategies: This focus area will offer workshops on new and/or innovative work in the prevention field related to the community and policy levels of the social ecology. Possible topics include ACEs, new legislation, child sexual abuse prevention, grassroots community organizing, the Protective Factors Framework, bullying/peer abuse prevention, traumatic brain injury and CAPTA.

While a single proposal may fit in one or two focus areas, our goal is that all workshops presented at the conference pertain to at least one focus area, as well as the following two criteria:

1. Evidence-Based or Evidence-Informed
2. Diversity/Cultural Competence

Kids and Trauma: Science Over Force


Kids and Trauma: Science Over Force 

CHICAGO, IL, November 2, 2015 – The video showing a school police officer subduing an unyielding adolescent with force is yet another reminder that children act out. Sadly, that’s not news. What is news is that there are alternate, appropriate ways to deal with troubled teens that benefit both the child and the community.

There are a host of reasons why a child might misbehave, and while the details of this young woman’s life are rightfully private, her attorney has made a public statement that she is in foster care and that is a sign that her nuclear family has been unable or unavailable to raise her.     

Traumatic childhood experiences are the subject of many studies currently. Findings indicate that these experiences can have both immediate and lifelong effect on social and emotional health. Collectively called “Adverse Childhood Experiences,” or ACEs, these experiences can actually change the chemistry of a child’s brain and can be a cause for dramatic changes in a child’s behavior. 

Prevent Child Abuse America recognizes the profound lessons from the ACE studies and has incorporated the findings into our work at every opportunity. We are particularly proud to be the non-profit partner to the producers of the film Paper Tigers, a documentary showing how the lives of troubled teens are changed when their school adopts a trauma–informed approach. 

The title comes from a story the science teacher shares with the students when discussing the effect of early trauma on their brain after constantly being exposed to real danger or threats, the brain eventually fails to differentiate between “a paper tiger and a real one.” The result can be kids who lash out or otherwise exhibit terribly inappropriate behaviors. 

Trauma-informed schools have moved from asking “what’s wrong with that child?” to “what’s happened to that child?” The school featured in Paper Tigers can be an inspiration and all schools, and communities, can consider taking a similar view to interacting with their students by engaging in the following steps:

(1)  Reminding ourselves that one size does not fit all when it comes to students or behavior;

(2)  Becoming informed about the ACEs, trauma and how they impact child development and behavior;

(3)  Assessing our approach to discipline by asking ourselves whether it is trauma-informed, modeled on what we know about ACEs and based on the simple question, “What’s happened to that child;” and

(4)  Recognizing that this is an issue for not only the schools, but the full community, neighbors, houses of worship and business as well. 

“I want this moment to be heard as a call to action for schools and communities across the nation,” said James M. Hmurovich, President & CEO, Prevent Child Abuse America. “Let’s take advantage of this wonderful new resource, bring Paper Tigers to every community and support developing trauma-informed faculty, staff and police officers in every school district! For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact Prevent Child Abuse America or visit our website for additional resources related to Paper Tigers.”

Prevent Child Abuse America President & CEO James M. Hmurovich to retire

Prevent Child Abuse America President & CEO James M. Hmurovich to retire

OCTOBER 16, 2015, CHICAGO, IL - Prevent Child Abuse America is formally announcing the retirement of President & CEO James M. Hmurovich. For 10 years, staff and he have worked to deliver on evidence-based strategies to promote healthy child development, supportive services for parents, and the primary prevention of child abuse and neglect.

Hmurovich’s last day has not been identified and will be aligned with the appointment of and transition to a successor, likely in the first quarter of 2016. A national search for his successor is underway, led by the National Board of Directors with the help of Phillips Oppenheim.

“Jim began his role as President & CEO at a time of significant change and transformation in the organization’s history,” said Fred Riley, Board Chair, Prevent Child Abuse America. “He brought a sense of urgency to achieving financial stability and revenue enhancement, while never compromising the organization’s focus on children and families. We are stronger and looking at an even brighter future thanks to Jim’s efforts and leadership.”

During his time at Prevent Child Abuse America, Jim was a member of a national office team that expanded the organization’s home visitation program, Healthy Families America, from 360 sites to over 600, increased the state chapter network from 41 to 50, introduced the Pinwheels for Prevention campaign as a reminder that child abuse and neglect prevention is everyone’s responsibility, oversaw the creation of technical assistance services to the networks on bullying prevention and child sexual abuse prevention, and the development of a national movement, Connect the Dots, for children and families.

As a representative of the organization, he most currently is serving as the Chair of the National Coalition to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse & Exploitation, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Human Services Assembly, as well as the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

Jim came to the position of President & CEO as a member of the organization’s national board. Prior to that, he enjoyed a decorated career in state government, serving as a former Deputy Commissioner for the Indiana Department of Correction, as well as the Indiana State Welfare Director, during which time Indiana was awarded seven federal high performance cash bonuses for successes in welfare reform and child welfare. Indiana also received national recognition as a leader in the State Children’s Health Insurance Program and for the Healthy Families Program, during Jim’s memberships on those teams. He is also the recipient of the Sagamore of the Wabash, which is the highest award that can be given to an Indiana citizen for leadership and accomplishment.

“I am honored to have been trusted with the leadership of such an honorable mission, a team of dedicated and committed staff, a knowledgeable and impressive Board of Directors and two outstanding networks of chapters and Healthy Families America sites respectively," said Hmurovich. "But more than all of that, I am humbled to have been given the opportunity to serve the children and families of this great nation. Every child should have the right to experience a loving, caring and abuse free childhood. At Prevent Child Abuse America we not only believe that, we work every day to accomplish it.” 

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