Young voices sang exuberantly about home during the regular meeting of the Board of El Paso County Commissioners on Thursday.
A group of children and musicians with the Colorado Springs Conservatory performed the song “Home” as part of the Proclamation marking Child Abuse Prevention Month. The song highlights the need for 105 new foster homes in El Paso County.
“Child abuse and neglect is a nationwide problem that is preventable when parents, families, communities and government work together to advocate for caring and safe environments for all children,” Commissioner Cami Bremer said as she read the Proclamation into the record. “The long-term effects of child abuse and neglect are felt by our whole community, and need to be addressed by the entire community.”
More than 16,400 reports of child abuse and neglect were received in 2018 by the El Paso County Department of Human Services, which provides oversight and protective services to at-risk children.
“Thank you for recognizing Child Abuse Prevention Month,” said Julie Krow, El Paso County Department of Human Services executive director. “We want children to be safe, and we want children who are in need of foster care to be able to remain here in El Paso County, connected with their community.”
“It takes everyone to keep children safe,” said Jill Calvert, Department of Human Services Director of Children, Youth and Family Services. She thanked community partners, law enforcement and others.
“Government certainly has an obligation, everyone single person has an obligation to take care of those who are the most vulnerable,” said Board of County Commissioners Chair Mark Waller.
Also Thursday, El Paso County commissioners and staff planted more than 100 pinwheels in front of Centennial Hall in downtown Colorado Springs. Prevent Child Abuse America introduced the pinwheel in 2008 as the national symbol for child abuse prevention through Pinwheels for Prevention. The pinwheels serve as symbols of the happy, playful childhoods desired for all children.
“The pinwheels are also a reminder: It takes diligence and care to save the fragility of a child’s happy life,” Bremer said.
The Conservatory has been a creative partner with DHS in the month of April. About 50 children have been practicing the song, and young singers have performed at several events around the County. A large group performed April 1, 2019, and planted more than 200 pinwheels at the Conservatory to start off Child Abuse Prevention Month.