April 16, 2014
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia Office for Child and Youth Protection (OCYP) planted approximately 180 pinwheels in front of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center as part of a national effort to commemorate National Child Abuse Prevention month. The pinwheels will remain in place through the end of April. The nationwide Pinwheels for Prevention Campaign was conceived by Prevent Child Abuse America in 2008.
The pinwheel is intended as a symbol of the happy and carefree childhood every child deserves as well as a call to the community-at-large to play a role in protecting and nurturing our youngest citizens. Each pinwheel planted represents about 1,000 children receiving support, protection, and personal safety lessons throughout the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
"National Child Abuse Prevention Month is a time to recognize the important role that communities play in protecting children," said Leslie Davila, Director of the Office for Child and Youth Protection. "During April and throughout the year, OCYP encourages all individuals and organizations to play a role in making the Archdiocese of Philadelphia community a better place for children and families."
OCYP works throughout the year to create and maintain an atmosphere of prevention and protection in the Archdiocese through various educational and training programs in parishes, schools and offices.
Through their efforts over 30,000 employees, clergy members and volunteers have participated in Mandatory Reporter training. Additionally, between 6,000-9,000 individuals participate in Safe Environment Training Programs yearly. Also, all employees, volunteers and clergy must obtain background checks and child abuse clearances. The Archdiocese goes above and beyond what is required by state law to create the safest possible environment for children and young people entrusted in its care. The eradication of child abuse begins with educating everyone working with young people on how to recognize signs of problems early on and empower them to speak up and make a report.
Editor's Note: The Archdiocese of Philadelphia provides comprehensive Safe Environment Training for clergy, employees, and volunteers, as well as parents and children. For more information please visit the Office of Child and Youth Protection web site at http://childyouthprotection.org.