HANNIBAL, Mo. (KHQA) — Blue pinwheels are planted outside the Douglass Community Center. Their message can impact families not only in Hannibal but nationwide.
Douglass Community Services looks to make parents aware of the knowledge, skills, and resources needed to care for children. April signifies national child abuse awareness month.
"The pinwheels themselves are just a sign of the happiness of childhood that we hope can have. I think that's what registers with people," said CASA Volunteer Coordinator Rebecca Morrell.
The pinwheels are part of a national campaign to keep children safe at home with their loved ones. Douglass says it has upwards of 300 children in the foster care system.
"We know that last year because of COVID. A lot of those hotline calls decreased," said Morell.
A big reason for the decrease in calls was because of limited in-person learning during last year. "This year, now that schools been in session theirs been a lot of those hotline calls that have increased quite a bit now. We do have kids coming into care again.," said Morell.
Douglass works hand-in-hand with court-appointed special advocates (CASA) to help ensure each child they encounter is receiving the proper resources along the way.
"Here at Douglass have been able to increase our capacity through the hiring of more casa staff. Our hope is that more individuals will step up and impact the life of a child," said Morell.