500 pinwheels planted at River Valley Justice Center headquarters
JOLIET, Ill. – April 21, 2014 – April is national Child Abuse Prevention Month, and CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Will County, whose mission is to advocate for abused and neglected children in the local court system, is hoping to bring awareness to the issue by planting a “Pinwheel Garden” at its River Valley Justice Center headquarters at 3200 West McDonough Street in Joliet.
CASA of Will County staff and volunteers planted 500 pinwheels to represent the 500 children currently in the Will County Juvenile Court System; the children come into care through abuse and neglect cases. The pinwheels and an accompanying banner line the entryway to the courthouse and will remain there throughout the month of April.
April was first designated National Child Abuse Prevention Month by a presidential proclamation in 1983 and has since become recognized as a time to acknowledge the importance of families and communities working together for the prevention of child abuse and to promote the social and emotional well being of families.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act and the first year that it is being recognized at River Valley Justice Center. Will County Chief Judge Richard Schoenstedt, Juvenile Court Judge Paula Gomora and 12th Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey Allen lent support to the effort and posed with CASA staff in front of the garden earlier this week.