April 04, 2013

News Release

For Immediate Release

Springfield a Leader in Child Abuse Prevention

Springfield is one of 28 communities in the state to be recognized for exemplary leadership in accepting the responsibility of child abuse and prevention.

During April, Child Abuse Prevention Month, Springfield News-Leader's "Every Child" public service journalism project will be among those 28 receiving a 2013 Leaders in Child Abuse Prevention award. Springfield will be recognized for achievements during the Pinwheels for Prevention™ Community Pinwheel Garden Ceremony at noon on April 17, 2013 at the State Capitol. The Missouri Prevention Partners believe that child abuse can be prevented and each of us has a role to play to help children live free from abuse and neglect.

"As we have seen time and again in this community, when the needs are clearly established in people's minds, they see a way this could actually work, we can generate support for that," said Mayor Bob Stephens. "I commend the News-Leader for initiating not only the conversation, but encouraging other to find and work toward solutions."

The Springfield News-Leader launched the Every Child public-service journalism project to focus public attention on critical challenges facing children, foster discussion and build on existing initiatives.

An Every Child Advisory Committee brought together representatives from the business, government, education, nonprofit, law enforcement, health and faith sectors. The effort proved to educate and advise journalists working on the series and to help engage other stakeholders and the general public in a discussion. Out of this initial effort came Springfield's Every Child Initiative - a way to capitalize on heightened public awareness about the critical issues facing children — such as poverty, child abuse and neglect, poor parenting, inadequate health care, poor nutrition and lack of school readiness — and build upon existing community efforts to lead to real and lasting change.

An advisory committee hired a full-time child advocate, who will start July 1.

The complete list of 28 communities/projects selected as 2013 Leaders in Child Abuse Prevention include:

The Missouri Prevention Partners (pdf) a collaboration of statewide public and private nonprofit organizations that have an interest in and statewide perspective of child abuse and its prevention. Learn more about the Missouri Prevention Partners at http://missourikidsfirst.org/?page_id=8176.

For more information about the Pinwheels for Prevention™ Community Pinwheel Garden Ceremony at noon on April 17, 2013 at the State Capitol please visit: http://missourikidsfirst.org or www.facebook.com/pages/Missouri-KidsFirst/132392254931

Media Contact: Cora Scott, City of Springfield, at 417-864-1009 or cscott@springfieldmo.gov or Joy Oesterly, Missouri KidsFirst, at 573-632-4600.