Winds of Change

Children living in foster care created these blue pinwheels in recognition of the national child abuse prevention campaign "Pinwheels for Prevention". The children were honored to do their part to promote this important campaign. The children used glue, chalk pastels and black ink to create their own unique blue pinwheels. They then wrote narratives about themselves and the changes they felt would make their lives, and the lives of other at risk children better and safer. Their messages are heartfelt and compelling.

Please consider what you can do to end child abuse.

I know I'm loving. I know I'm caring. And I know what a good heart I have. But after all the negative I've been around, after all the names I've been called, after all the violence and anger I've witnessed, it is hard to write about myself. It is hard not to bring myself down The fact that I'm a foster child just adds to the pain. Everyone who claimed they "loved" me always turned their back on me. I guess I feel like it's my fault. I don't believe in myself at all. I don't care what goes on in MY life, but I do care about YOU. I care about the world and the people in it. I don't want anyone to fail. Maybe I don't have hope for myself but I do have hope in others. What I want to say to them is - No matter what happens don't think like I think, or give up on yourself. You CAN make it. Everyone is worth it. Everyone is strong. Everyone deserves love. Don't you be that person who gives up, or contributes to others giving up. Make a difference and show the world what you are made of.

Kayla, age 14

I am an artist. I like to draw. I hope to be happy as I grow up. I have seen other kids go through very hard problems like I did. No child should go through such hard times. Being with my dad’s family would make me happy. I can’t see hardly any of them now. Before I was in foster care we did lots of fun things together. I especially miss my grandma because she was like a mom for me. My mom was never a good mom. She did many abusive things to my brother Manny and I. No one noticed what was happening to us, so it went on for a very long time. My dad tried to keep us safe but that meant we had to keep hiding and moving and moving.Now, finally I am getting helped. I can finally go to school and learn. I can finally think about the future. I can finally think that life can get better. My wish is that no other children would have to suffer as long as I did.

Eileen, age 13

Children need to be given more respect and attention. Parents and guardians are allowed to pay no attention to a child or their needs. Sometimes the only attention given is abuse.You can’t tell how sad a child is unless you pay attention to that child. Seeing a child for their goodness, not their flaws, is another change that is needed. Parents and guardians see what they want to see. They become angry at a child for no reason. Physical abuse is crossing the line. It is always undeserved. Children never deserve to be hit. They deserve to be loved and cared for, not pushed to the side like a bad memory that needs to be gotten rid of. The day when all parents and guardians open up their eyes to their children, is the day children will begin  to live in peace.

Devin, age 13