Pinwheels and Protection: Understanding the Symbols and Strategies of Child Abuse Prevention


National Child Abuse Prevention Month banner with blue pinwheels

Every April, as part of National Child Abuse Prevention (CAP) Month, the LifeBridge Health community comes together to amplify the message that protecting our children is a priority we all share. This month is an opportunity to engage in conversations about children’s welfare and reinforce the care network that supports them. From schools and doctors’ offices to civic groups and neighborhoods, everyone has a role to play.


The Blue Pinwheel
At the heart of CAP Month is the blue pinwheel, a symbol of childhood innocence and the aspirations we hold for our young ones. Introduced by Prevent Child Abuse America in 2008, this symbol captures the essence of the carefree, joyful experiences that should characterize childhood. Each spin of the blue pinwheel reminds us of the possibilities inherent in every child and the nurturing environments we strive to create.


The pinwheel not only raises awareness but also inspires action. It’s common to see them spinning in gardens, at local businesses, on school grounds and at places of worship throughout our community, each one an affirmation of our commitment to child safety.


Building a Hopeful Future, Together
This year, the theme of “Building a Hopeful Future, Together” challenges us to deepen our engagement with child abuse prevention. It calls for a collective approach—emphasizing that the health and safety of our children are influenced by the broader environment in which they grow.


In this spirit, LifeBridge Health’s Center for Hope and The Family Tree are hosting events and activities all month long:


Panel Discussion: On April 10, from 6 – 7:30 p.m., The Family Tree and Center for Hope hosted a panel discussion focusing on the current impact of child abuse and neglect, including community, professionals, educators, legislators, policymakers, investigative researchers and spiritual perspectives. Attendees participated in break-out groups to develop strategies to help raise awareness and decrease child maltreatment throughout Maryland.


Online Resources: In April and beyond, you can learn more about child abuse prevention, find resources and help spread the word by visiting


Online Training: Also in April, Center for Hope is hosting a series of online training sessions through the Online Training Institute designed for professionals, youth-serving organizations, caregivers and community members who want to improve their skills to promote intergenerational safety. The modules cover mandated reporting, adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), vicarious trauma and building resiliency. For the month of April, LifeBridge Health team members can use promo code CAPM2024 to take the trainings for free.


Wear Blue Day: On April 5 and April 26, LifeBridge Health team members will wear blue to support child abuse prevention.


Ongoing Efforts
For over 50 years, The Family Tree has served as the Maryland Chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America and provided life-changing parenting education and support to families committed to breaking cycles of maltreatment. Center for Hope’s Child Advocacy Center's team of forensic interviewers, family advocates, anti-trafficking specialists and medical experts work with law enforcement, child protective services and prosecutors to collaborate with families in a trauma-informed manner to address child abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence. These ongoing efforts to prevent child maltreatment are part of LifeBridge Health’s mission to care for families in our communities.


Learn more about the levels of prevention, available resources, signs of maltreatment and more in this WYPR interview with Matila Jones, Interim Director of Programs and Research at The Family Tree.


In Maryland, a child is reported abused or neglected every 10 minutes. Let’s remind ourselves of the power of community in safeguarding our children. Together, we can weave a fabric of protection that no child can fall through.


For our 24-hour parenting helpline call 800-243-7337.