Highly Visible Pinwheels Bring Awareness To Child Abuse In Fayette County
Brightly colored pinwheels once again spin in the wind along a stretch of Nicholasville Road in Lexington. More than 1,400 pinwheels represent the newly substantiated cases of child abuse or neglect in Fayette County. That number is actually down by a little more than a hundred from 2017.
But Court Appointed Special Advocates or CASA Director Melynda Jamison says it doesn’t necessarily mean child abuse is on the decline. “It could be that they just haven’t been reported. There is so many factors that could contribute to it. I do think that people are becoming more aware of what substantiates abuse and neglect and I like to hope more people are reporting,” said Jamison.
CASA’s Brittney Thomas has volunteered for five years and has seen 31 children either placed in adoptive homes or returned to their families. She says she doesn’t focus on past abuse. “I can’t change or fix what happened in the past, but I can make sure with my kid that this stops here and that, going forward, their experiences are different and that they will fall through the cracks no more. There will be no more abuse going forward,” noted Thomas.
Thomas admits it sometimes takes perseverance before some children feel completely comfortable with her. She added, “you have to keep your promises and you have to be patient.”
CASA volunteers were able to assist 626 children in 2018.
Following Wednesday event along Nicholasville Road, CASA Volunteer Brittney Thomas spoke with Weku's Stu Johnson: