Watch for silver and blue pinwheels to appear around Tacoma and Pierce County. For the second year Pierce County’s Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Program is planting pinwheels around town during April, which is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. The blue pinwheel has become a symbol for the happy, healthy, and carefree childhood every child deserves.
There are more than 1,500 abuse and neglected children involved in the foster care system in Pierce County. CASAs are volunteers who advocate for these children so that their needs are met and they don’t get forgotten or lost in the system. CASAs remind all of the parties involved – social workers, attorneys, parents, judges – that the child is the focus of the case, and the child needs a permanent, safe, stable home.
There are about 250 CASAs in Pierce County, and 750 children who do not have a CASA. The CASA program participates in the Pinwheels for Prevention to raise awareness in the community about child abuse and about the need for CASAs who can help prevent abuse and neglect.
Pinwheels will be popping up on MLK, the Stadium District, 6th Ave., Ruston Way, and at several county properties including Frontier Park and Sprinker. There is a “garden” of 750 pinwheels planted in the lawn of Pierce County Juvenile Court -- one for each child without a CASA.
Pinwheels for Prevention is a national campaign started in 2008 by Prevent Child Abuse America and Healthy Families America.
For more information about the CASA Program, call Carrie Appling at (253) 798-3837 or visit http://piercecasa.org/.
TJ Bohl, Pierce County Juvenile Court administrator
Hunter George, Pierce County Communications director