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State's commitment to child abuse prevention highlighted at 10th annual rally

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 25, 2018                                            

CONTACT: Bob Wheaton                                                                           

LANSING, Mich. – About 600 blue and silver pinwheels adorned a garden near the State Capitol today as a symbol of Michigan’s commitment to prevent child abuse and neglect.

With the theme “The Power of One,” the 10th annual Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Day rally at the State Capitol brought together the prevention community to draw attention to the 37,970 children who were confirmed to have been abused or neglected in Michigan in 2017. Gov. Rick Snyder has proclaimed April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.

“Through the strength of one action, one dollar, one person, one organization and, yes, one rally, we can make a positive difference in preventing child abuse and neglect in Michigan,” said Michael Foley, executive director of the Children’s Trust Fund, which organized the event. Part of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, CTF promotes child abuse prevention efforts and provides funding to effective local prevention programs.

Other event speakers included: MDHHS Director Nick Lyon, Lansing Mayor Andy Schor, state Sen. Margaret O’Brien, state Rep. Erika Geiss, Bishop Reginald Bluestein of Detroit and Michelle Schulte, project director at the Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan.

In addition to child abuse prevention awareness, the rally also addressed the importance of infant safe sleep. Bluestein discussed that topic and the efforts of his organization, Concerned About Reaching Everyone (CARE), to educate Detroit parents about safe sleep. Foley read a letter from Michigan’s First Lady Sue Snyder, who has helped MDHHS spread the word about the importance of infant safe sleep.

“As First Lady – and also as a mother – one of my key priorities has been to help educate parents, relatives and caregivers about how to provide a safe sleep environment for babies,” Snyder said. “By providing families with safe sleep resources and information, we can encourage them to use safe sleep techniques in their homes and, in return, help give all of Michigan’s babies a better chance to live and thrive.”

Parents and caregivers should place baby on his or her back for every sleep time in a crib, bassinet or portable play yard. The baby should sleep in the same room – but not the same bed – as parents. Keep soft objects or loose bedding, such as pillows, blankets, bumper pads or stuffed toys, out of the sleep environment.

Each year, about 150 babies in Michigan die as a result of asphyxiation due to unsafe sleeping environments.

Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Day sponsors included Grand Traverse Pie Company, the Lansing Area Exchange Club, MDHHS’s Maternal and Infant Health Division, Brighton Ford, Lansing Central United Methodist Church, Michigan Department of Education, Lansing Community College, Cottage Inn Pizza, Absopure Water and Stan Setas Produce. 

The Children's Trust Fund was established by the Michigan Legislature through Public Act 249 of 1982 and Public Act 250 of 1982. It serves as a voice for Michigan's children and families and promotes their health, safety and welfare by funding effective local programs and services that prevent child abuse and neglect.

On May 16 at 5 p.m. the Children’s Trust Fund will hold its annual Pam Posthumus Signature Auction Event at the Breslin Center on Michigan State University’s campus in East Lansing to raise money to support child abuse prevention programming.

For more information or to make a tax-deductible donation to support the Children’s Trust Fund, visit

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