Jubilee aims to raise child abuse prevention awareness

FRONT ROYAL – The first Every Child Matters Jubilee will be hosted by the Warren County Department of Social Services on Saturday to raise awareness and spread the word about child abuse prevention.

The jubilee will feature a garden made up 847 pinwheels.

“Each blue and silver pinwheel planted around the community represents a child who was subject to child abuse or neglect investigations in 2017,” said Michelle Smeltzer, Warren County community liaison.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, the 35th year since President Ronald Reagan first began the observance in 1983 to bring awareness about children who have endured physical battering, denial of basic needs, sexual abuse or emotional cruelty.

“Over the years, April has been used to raise awareness of the problems of child abuse and neglect,” Smeltzer said. “We’re trying to focus on ways to prevent it before it even happens.”

There’s a need in the community to understand what a child goes through, she added, and this event was intended to do just that.

Saturday’s jubilee will help promote awareness and encourage prevention of child abuse in Warren County. There will be vendors, games including face painting, a petting zoo and a bouncy house, discussions with law enforcement and social services, along with food donated by C&C Ice Cream and Sysco.

“It’s really to bring awareness to the importance of prevention,” Smeltzer said. “We want to recognize these children in our community who need our support and help.”

For Warren County residents looking to support child abuse prevention month, employees of the  Warren County Department of Social Services planted pinwheel gardens throughout the community. They encourage residents to pick a pinwheel and place it in their front yards. Pinwheel gardens are located at Warren County Memorial Hospital, 1000 N. Shenandoah Ave. and the Front Royal Police Department, 23 E. Jackson St.

If You Go


When: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday

Where: Warren County Health and Human Services Complex, 465 W. 15th St., in Front Royal

Admission: Free