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Quinton's Place promotes Child Abuse Prevention month

BLUE RIBBON MONTH: Jessie Bass, a student at St. Elizabeth School of Nursing, is seen here busily making blue ribbons in preparation for National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

By AARON KENNEDY - akennedy@ftimes.com

More than 100 signs will be placed around the county and pinwheels will again be planted on the courthouse lawn in April, all in an effort to raise awareness about child abuse during National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

The signs, which will be distributed all around Clinton County by Quinton's House Child Advocacy Center – a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization – will display messages and statistics on the topic of child abuse.

“Our main funding comes from the Department of Child Services, and we are a United Way agency, but we count on support from the community to fill the gaps,” said Denise Barney, executive director of Quinton's House. “Whatever is in the best interest of the child is where we are at.”

Barney says that the DCS often gets a bad wrap.

“When they take a child out of a home they get negative feedback. If they don't take the child out of the home and they get hurt, they get negative feedback,” Barney said. "It is a difficult job, and they are doing the best that they can. But, they are amazing people who do so much good in this community.”

Volunteers are already passing out cards asking residents of the county to “like” Quinton's House on Facebook, and a Facebook contest featuring questions about the signs placed across the county will be on the Quinton's House Facebook page. The first one who responds with the correct answer to each question wins a prize.

On the backside of each card is the child abuse hotline number – (800) 800-5556.

“Somewhere somebody is going to get that card who is going to need it,” Barney said. “That is awareness.”

Barney says the signs will be distributed around the county by volunteer groups.

“The Fraternal Order of Police is delivering the signs, and DCS will be delivering some signs as well and helping with the projects,” she said. “Quinton's House has also partnered with St. Elizabeth's Nursing School for a long-term relationship. So, every Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., I have anywhere from four to eight students that are volunteers. It is part of their clinicals. Once those students graduate, we get a new class of students. That relationship has been fantastic.”

There will be a Pinwheel Planting again on the courthouse lawn starting at noon on April 4. Frankfort Mayor Chris McBarnes and pastor Pam Ditson-McCall will speak at the event, which usually lasts 20-30 minutes.

“We would like to see a huge crowd for the pinwheel planting. We want to make this fundraiser the biggest that we have had to this date,” Barney said. “It is a national program. There will be pinwheel plantings all over the nation in April. Each county gets to designate their own week. Clinton County is in the first week of April.”

The first week of April is also the 15th annual Blue Jean Day. Those who participate in Blue Jean Week by making a donation to Quinton's House by calling 656-7431 will receive a blue ribbon pin and info card, and they can wear their favorite blue jeans to work April 1-5.

“I would like to make this the biggest fundraiser we have had,” Barney said. “If you have not been contacted and would like to participate in Blue Jean or just donate to Quinton's House, please call 656-7431.

“Love your kids,” Barney added. “Take them out for a walk. Talk to them.”