Pinwheel planting ceremonies kickstart Child Abuse Prevention Month

Starting April 3, colorful pinwheels – the national symbol of child abuse prevention – will dot the landscape across Wake County in recognition of Child Abuse Prevention Month. Pinwheel planting ceremonies are just one of the many free events the county is hosting this month to bring awareness to preventing child abuse and neglect.

"Every child deserves to grow up in a household free of violence where their basic needs are met, but sadly, we know that is not always the case," said Commissioner Don Mial of the Wake County Board of Commissioners. "That’s why our caring staff work every day to protect children from abuse and improve parent education to prevent neglect.”

Last year alone, Wake County Child Protective Services received 9,349 reports of child abuse and/or neglect, of which 4,939 were escalated to a social worker and a case was opened in Wake County. Of those, 4,608 were cases suspecting neglect among other factors. It's important to note that 88% of families who chose to participate in prevention services did not have a repeat report.

Free Community Events
Education is the first step to identifying and preventing child abuse. The public is encouraged to attend these events to learn how they can help protect our youngest residents and raise awareness about the cause:

April 3–17: Pinwheel planting ceremonies – Wake County staff will meet at various county buildings to plant pinwheels outside to attract the attention of passersby and start conversations about child abuse prevention.

April 3: Pastries and Prevention Event – Annual event to recognize community partners who provide services to families to decrease child abuse. Swinburne Building, Room 2132, at noon.

April 5: Wear Blue Day – Wear blue to visibly show your commitment to preventing child abuse. Share your photos on social media, using the hashtag #GoBlueforWake.

April 9: Making It Happen Panel Discussion: Prevention Strategies – Sponsored by Casey Family Programs, subject matter experts will discuss strategies to prevent abuse. Swinburne Building, Room 2132, noon.

April 27: Step Out Against Child Abuse Walk, 10 a.m. – Invite your family and friends to help us close out Child Abuse Prevention Month with a one-mile walk around one of Wake County's many parks and preserves:

Increasing Protective Factors
One way the county works to prevent child abuse and neglect is by increasing protective factors. Protective factors are conditions in families and communities that increase the health and well-being of children. Those factors include:

  • Parent resilience
  • Social and emotional competence of children
  • Parental knowledge of child development
  • Concrete support for parents
  • Social connections

Research has shown that the protective factors are linked to a lower incidence of child abuse and neglect.

For more information about Child Abuse Prevention Month, visit If you suspect a child has been abused or neglected, call our report line at 919-212-7990 or 919-212-7963 for Spanish.

Press Release