Whitestown Proclaims April As Child Abuse Prevention Month, Autism Awareness Month

The Town of Whitestown adopted proclamations declaring the month of April as Child Abuse Prevention Month and Autism Awareness Month earlier this week.

The Town Council presented a proclamation designating April as Child Abuse Awareness Month, stating that children are vital to the community and the future prosperity of the town, and community memebrs have a moral responsibility to report suspected abuse and neglect of children.

“All children deserve to have the safe, stable, nurturing homes and communities they need to foster their healthy growth and development,” the proclamation reads. “Child abuse and neglect can be reduced by information families about community resources and services available that could help prevent a family crisis or help overcome one.”

The Town continued to state that it owes a debt of gratitude to those in the community who provide families with services to ensure the physical and emotional well-being of children, and the Town continued to state that it will maintain its tradition of raising awareness in April for the cause.

“Effective chuld abuse prevention strategies are better positioned to succeed with the assistance of partnerships created among citizens, human service agencies, schools, faith communities, health care providers, civic organizations, law enforcement agencies and the business community,” the proclamation reads. “Prevent Child Abuse America estimates that child abuse and neglect affects 1 million American children each year and costs our nation $220 million every day through investigations, foster care, medical and mental health treatment, special education, juvenile and adult crime, chronic health problems and other costs across the life span.”

To continue its act of raising awareness, the Town highlighted Prevent Child Abuse Boone County, which is an organization dediced to preventing child abuse and neglect to ensure a safer and better place for children in the community. In 2008, Prevent Child Abuse America introduced the pinwheel as the new national symbol for child abuse prevention as they are associated with joy and childhood. To align with the mission, a pinwheel garden has been placed at the Whitestown Municipal Complex. Suspected child abuse or neglect should be reported to the Indiana Department of Child Services at 800-800-5556.

The Town also proclaimed April as Autism Awareness Month, stating that the town staff and community members have been challenged to become better educated about autism and create a better community for individuals with autism by keeping them in mind and actively working to learn during Autism Awareness Month.

“As more health professionals become proficient in diagnosing autism, more children are being diagnosed on the autism spectrum, resulting in rates as high as 1 in 68 children nationally,” the proclamation reads. “While there is no cure for autism, it is well-documented that if individuals with autism receive early and intensive treatment throughout their lives, they lead significantly improved lives.”

The Town stated that “the incidence of autism is an urgent public health crisis” that requires the forethought of every member of the town to continue learning and understanding autism and its affects to better raise awareness and create a better community.

“Individuals with autism often require a lifetime of specialized and community support services to ensure their health and safety and to support families’ resilience as they manage the psychological and financial burdens autism can present,” the proclamation reads.

The Town reported that autism affects more than 80 million people worldwide, and the Town expressed its appreciation for the work conducted by the Behavior Analysis Center for Autism in Whitestown, which stries to empower kids and their families by helping build the skills needed to live a happy and fulfilling life.